The Purdue University employee who had been accused of making threats of rape to pro-life students and their family members has resigned after the school demanded an apology for his actions and he apparently refused to issue one.
Brian Zink from the office of Purdue president and former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels forwarded a statement to Breitbart News Monday:
Jamie Newman, a part-time staff member at Purdue University, has resigned from his position, effective immediately on Feb. 15, 2016. The University has accepted the resignation and believes this is the appropriate outcome.
Newman – an accompanist and composer with the school’s Division of Dance – resigned just hours before students had planned to rally to demand the university fire him.
“Yeah, I just quit,” Newman reportedly told the Lafayette Journal & Courier. “Tell the world.”
“This was a sad situation for all involved,” president of Students for Life of America Kristan Hawkins said in a statement. “As a group who has experienced threats of violence ourselves, we condemn all threats of violence against anyone for any reason.”
Newman’s resignation marks the end of a tumultuous two-week period that began when Purdue Students for Life placed posters – depicting a baby in a uterus with its hands up, saying, “Hands Up, Don’t Abort” – around campus with information about the disproportionately large numbers of black babies aborted in the United States. The group’s display was intended to mark Black History Month.
Among Newman’s reported responses to the pro-life display was a post on the student group’s Facebook site that read, “You folks are vile, racist idiots, who richly deserve all the opprobrium that will be heaped on you as a result of this unbelievably thoughtless, stupid escapade…”
On the website of pro-life organization Live Action News, Newman also allegedly posted via his Disqus account the following comments in response to those of pro-life commenters:
- “No, no, no. I’d only rape someone if you were watching, because i know it would turn you on to see a beautiful new baby conceived in real time. Last I checked, you weren’t my wife.
- “Maybe you’d get a thrill holding her down as I rape her, knowing that the three of us would be engaged in the joyful task of making a baby.”
- “Oh, I’m sorry. So, let me make my intentions quite explicit: I did in fact offer to rape Tom’s wife/daughter/great grandmother. Free of charge, even. I’m generous that way.
Purdue responded that – because the university is publicly-funded – the First Amendment protects Newman’s “outrageous” threats of rape against the pro-life students, and that the school, therefore, had no plans to terminate his employment. Purdue legal counsel released a statement demanding “a full apology and explanation” from Newman, but he, instead responded, “If anything, you owe me an apology.”
If anything, you owe me an apology–indeed, you should probably be begging my forgiveness–for facilitating the dissemination of fabricated and defamatory statements about me, and for failing to vehemently denounce the effort made of Students For Life to destroy my life and career. I’m not planning to hold my breath waiting for one.
Subsequently, Newman reported to Purdue police that he had received numerous threats to his email account. An investigator from the school reportedly spoke with Newman over the weekend “to develop a safety plan.”
Garen Bragg, a senior in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, who had planned the students’ rally to demand Newman be fired said, “We were disappointed with the speed with which Purdue said they were not going to discipline this individual. He was a staff member at Purdue, and what he said was inappropriate. We need to let Purdue know that.”
Additionally, Mike Young, president of Purdue Student Government, said a resolution calling for Newman’s apology and sanctions against him had been planned for consideration Wednesday had Newman not resigned.
“My only disappointment,” Young said Monday, “is that I won’t get to sign the PSG resolution asking him to be fired with a big, fat Sharpie.”