Professor to students: Trayvon case proved it’s legal to hunt, kill children

Trayvon Martin 2University of Maryland students got an unusual email from their professor as school got back in session: The Trayvon Martin case proved that “it is legal to hunt down and kill American children in Florida.” Oh, yeah, and welcome back to class.

William Dorland, director of the school’s Honors College, took a message that started out like a routine “happy return” greeting and veered quickly into the realm of politics, according to Fox News.

“This year, we learned that it is legal to hunt down and kill American children in Florida,” Dorland wrote in the email to all Honors College students, referring to the George Zimmerman trial. “This year, the most activist Supreme Court in the history of the United States and radical factions of gun owners, gun manufacturers, and marijuana users are challenging the very fabric of the nation.”

Activist Supreme Court? If Dorland was referring to the court’s rulings that Obamacare is constitutional and the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, then, yes, perhaps it is activist.

The email invited students to hear a lecture by former NAACP President Julian Bond — the real purpose of the message, the professor now claims.

“I didn’t regard it as a political statement,” Dorland told “I regarded it as trying to stir some student interest in an activity going on on campus.”

Dorland said he is getting some flak over the email.

“There were three students and a faculty member who asked me not to use such violent or inappropriate language in the future, and I apologized to them because I didn’t want to offend anybody,” he told Fox. “But I did want to stir things up.”

Some students, though not all, found the email offensive.

“Sending politically charged emails like this not only alienates students, but also adds to our toxic political discourse,” Ross Marchand, president of the campus Students for Liberty, told Fox.

Caroline Carlson, chairwoman of the school’s College Republicans, agreed.

“Claiming that it is ‘legal to hunt down and kill American children in Florida’ is stretching the truth, and frankly, we believe Professor Dorland should be above making those types of false statements in what is presumed to be a factual Honors College email,” she said.

Jim Purtilo, a University of Maryland computer science professor, also received the email but wasn’t surprised. He found it indicative of the liberal bias on campus. According to Fox:

“I was on a committee for a very prestigious award on campus, which basically gives a free ride to the selected student, and I remember our committee once interviewing a young woman from one of the more rural counties of the state. And she was poised and articulate and tremendously well prepared, top scores and maxed out SAT and everything… but she made no secret about her religious views, and she asked about things like whether we had a drug- and alcohol-free dorm hall,” Purtilo said.

“The committee’s conclusion was, ‘oh, she has very strict views, very rigid views — she would not be comfortable here’… you often hear code words like those, which really mean that the person is right-of-center politically.”

Zimmerman was acquitted months ago in Martin’s shooting death. It’s time to put it to bed and move on.


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