'Despair' Led to College Prof's 'Trump Must Hang' Tweet
And to Lars Maischak's paid leave from Fresno State
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2017 9:11 AM CDT
Lars Maischak   (Fresno State)

(Newser) – An ill-advised tweet about President Trump has led to a "voluntary leave of absence" for a history instructor at Fresno State, per a university statement cited by the Fresno Bee. Fresno State President Joseph Castro says Lars Maischak will spend the rest of the spring semester doing research instead of teaching after a February tweet Maischak sent out to a few dozen followers, the Washington Post reports. "To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better," he wrote in a tweet that the Post notes stayed "lost in the ether" until Breitbart publicized it and other Maischak tweets in an April 8 article. The FBI and Secret Service got involved in the probe, and an online petition went up calling for Maischak's firing for "inciting violence."

In a written statement to the Bee last week, Maischak apologized for the "cathartic" tweet, which he said wasn't meant to spur violence and was "the end point of a dark train of thought" from his "despair over the actions of the present US government." He said he didn't think anyone other than a few people who knew him well would ever read his remarks and that he has taken down his Twitter account so no one sees his comments as "encouragement to act violently or unlawfully." USA Today notes the spotlight is once again on academia viewed as "elitist" by some. "[This is] why universities across the country are now viewed with disdain by average, salt-of-the-earth Americans," the Breitbart article read. Subtitutes will take over Maischak's classes, the university notes. (Kellyanne Conway says she's received death threats.)

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