Florida Atlantic University remains and apparently always will be the worst place in America to go to college.
The latest incident of ridiculous awfulness at FAU once again involves communications professor James Tracy, who speculated on his personal blog, Memory Hole, that Monday’s mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard could have been an elaborate hoax.
The incident involved a shooter, Aaron Alexis, who gunned down 12 people in a murderous rampage before police officers shot and killed him.
In his latest blog entry, Tracy suggests in a series of vignettes that the shooting might have been staged by unnamed forces.
“Witnesses have been documented stating that evacuation drills were known to have been taking place at the Navy Yard in the lead-up to the September 16 shooting event,” Tracy writes.
The tenured professor also suggests that the abundance of photos and video captured at the scene by a throng of media outlets may have been skillfully edited to show nonexistent carnage.
Tracy’s blog isn’t affiliated with FAU. School officials have stressed that they do not endorse their employee’s point of view.
The wackadoodle professor and a one-time union leader is well-known known for his bizarre conspiracy theories.
After the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings, Tracy took to his blog question official accounts of the terror attack, arguing that the amount of damage captured on video cannot be reconciled with the homemade bombs that authorities say caused the damage. (RELATED: Professor calls Boston Bombings ‘mass casualty drill’)
In an April 23 posting entitled “Witnessing Boston’s Mass Casualty Event,” the nutty professor asserted that “photographic evidence of the event suggests the possibility of play actors getting into position after the detonation of what may in fact have been a smoke bomb or similarly benign explosive.”
Back in December, Tracy advocated conspiracy theories about the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. (RELATED: Public university professors join ranks of Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists)
“As documents relating to the Sandy Hook shooting continue to be assessed and interpreted by independent researchers, there is a growing awareness that the media coverage of the massacre of 26 children and adults was intended primarily for public consumption to further larger political ends,” Tracy wrote concerning the Sandy Hook massacre.
While Tracy is persistent source of humiliation for FAU, he is arguably the least of FAU’s recent woes.
Over the summer, the public, taxpayer-funded university adopted a draconian “Free Speech and Campus Civility” policy which insists “that everyone in the FAU community behave and speak to and about one another in ways that are not racist, religiously intolerant or otherwise degrading to others.” (RELATED: Florida Atlantic University is still the worst place in America to attend college)
As the free-speech watchdog group FIRE noted at the time, the broad and ambiguous policy forbids all kinds of speech and expression that is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In March, the administration tried to punish a student who expressed discomfort with a professor’s assignment to stomp on a piece of paper bearing the word “Jesus.” (RELATED: Florida Atlantic issues new groveling apology over Jesus-stomping)
That professor, non-tenured communications instructor Deandre Poole, was placed on administrative leave but has since returned to teach online courses. (RELATED: FAU professor in Jesus-stomping controversy reinstated)
Also last year, Mary Jane Saunders, FAU’s then-president, hit a student protester with the side mirror of her Lexus. The protesters were objecting to an agreement to name the school’s football stadium after a for-profit prison company. Saunders was attempting to leave and students had blocked her exit.