Tennessee Tech Profs Attack Colleague for Advising Turning Point USA Group

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Two professors at Tennessee Tech University have attacked one of their colleagues for being the faculty adviser for the school’s Turning Point USA (TPUSA) student group. The professors have also lashed out at conservative students on campus, calling them “racist,” and claiming that they seek to “harass, threaten, intimidate, and terrorize” people.

“Professor Donadio and Turning Point USA, you are on our list,” read a flyer distributed by the two professors in question, Julia Gruber and Andrew Smith, according to a report by Fox 17 WZTV.

Gruber and Smith went on to attack not only their colleague, but also conservative students at the university, who they also referred to as “racist,” and claimed the students seek to “harass, threaten, intimidate, and terrorize persons of color, feminists, liberals, and the like.”

“This racist college professor thought it would be a great idea to help start a Tennessee Tech chapter for this national hate group, where racist students can unite to harass, threaten, intimidate, and terrorize persons of color, feminists, liberals, and the like, especially their teachers,” the flyer read.

“Your hate & hypocrisy are not welcome at Tennessee Tech. No unity with racists. Hate speech is not free speech,” the flyer added.

Professor Donadio told Fox 17 WZTV that he finds the contents of the flyer to be “a threat,” adding, “in no way can you see that as anything, but a threat.”

“All groups should have a right, as long as they’re following the rules, to have a group — I don’t care who they are,” the professor added of his involvement as the faculty adviser for the TPUSA student group on campus.

Donadio also reacted to the section of the flyer that specifically mentioned students, stating, “that’s an attack on students. That’s a chilling statement.”

Gruber, on the other hand, defended her and Smith’s flyer, telling Fox 17 WZTV, “I feel it’s my responsibility and it should be a professional standard to stand-up to someone who practices racism.”

The flyer also pointed out that Turning Point USA has created a national “Professor Watchlist.”

The “Professor Watchlist” is a project of TPUSA that aggregates news articles featuring professors who have made headlines for radical behavior. Some students find the watchlist to be a useful tool that allows them to check if any questionable professors teach at their school, before signing up for classes.

Some of the professors featured on the watchlist include University of Mississippi professor James Thomas, who in 2018 suggested contaminating conservatives’ food, and now-former Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher, who in 2016 tweeted, “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide.”

“Is a person allowed to say America deserved 9/11? Absolutely. You may say that, but there’s no reason I as a parent, if I’m sending my kid to your college, shouldn’t know that my kid might have a professor that says that,” professor Donadio said of TPUSA’s watchlist.

Donadio added that Gruber and Smith “went after the students” on campus, as well as “anybody with conservative ideas” with their flyer.

The two professors are now facing possible disciplinary action over their flyers, reports Fox 17 WZTV.

A spokesperson for Tennessee Tech told Breitbart News that “the university is currently following its personnel policy and procedures,” adding that “no disciplinary action has been taken at this time.”

“The university will maintain the confidentiality of the complaint, and the privacy of the persons involved, to the greatest extent possible, consistent with its goal of conducting a thorough and complete investigation and to the extent permitted by the law,” the spokesperson continued.

“By university policy, the parties are not obligated to maintain the confidentiality of a complaint and investigation,” the spokesperson added. “It is also university practice not to comment on internal employment matters, so the university will not issue a public statement at the conclusion of the matter.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.

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