Teacher Suspended for 'Game of Thrones' T-Shirt Worn by 7-Year-Old Daughter -- Seriously!

Game of ThronesNewsflash! Some people just need to lighten up, seriously. 

Francis Schmidt is a teacher of art and animation at Bergen Community College in New Jersey. He did something so not outrageous and so not threatening that the aftermath seems not just unjust, but silly. Mr. Schmidt posted a photo of his 7-year-old daughter wearing a Game of Thrones T-shirt and he was suspended from his job. What? Huh? And no, this is not some kind of joke. This really happened.


This is what reportedly went down. Back in January, Mr. Schmidt put a photo of his 7-year-old daughter wearing his Game of Thrones T-shirt -- that featured the Daenerys Targaryen quote, "I Will Take What Is Mine With Fire & Blood" -- on his Google+ account. Like many at the time, he was excited about the new season trailer debuting. But a colleague at the school took this as more than a passion for a TV show but as a loaded message and a threat from Mr. Schmidt. An emergency meeting was called, and he was given leave without pay. The teacher tried to explain that it was just a popular saying from the show; the school thought that "fire" wasn't about dragons but about "AK-47s."

The school defended their actions by saying: 

The referenced incident refers to a private personnel matter at Bergen Community College. Since January 1, 2014, 34 incidents of school shootings have occurred in the United States. In following its safety and security procedures, the college investigates all situations where a member of its community – students, faculty, staff, or local residents – expresses a safety or security concern.

In order to try to get his job back, Mr. Schmidt must submit to a psychiatric exam. Yes, a psychiatric exam for letting his daughter wear his Game of Thrones T-shirt and then putting a photo of her on the Internet.

Now, I get being cautious. I understand wanting to secure the safety of their students. But unless there is more to this story, this is one of the most ridiculous examples of overzealous, paranoid overprotection I've heard of. How can we flourish as a community and a country if people can be punished for such minor things?

What do you think? Is this one of the craziest, most overzealous things you've heard?


Image via Francis Schmidt/Google+

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