Collin College fires prof who tweeted about Mike Pence's 'demon mouth'
Collin College has fired a professor who tweeted about Mike Pence's "demon mouth."
The college told professor Lora Burnett that they are not renewing her contract because of "personal criticisms of co-workers, supervisors, and/or those who merely disagree with you," among other issues.
A professor who tweeted about Mike Pence's "demon mouth" will not have her contract renewed.
Collin College, where Professor of History Lora Burnett is employed, sent Burnett an email stating that because of "personal criticisms of co-workers, supervisors, and/or those who merely disagree with you," among other issues, according to a screenshot tweeted out by Burnett.
Breaking #highered news: after deleting his entire Twitter account (which he was obliged to preserve for legal purposes), @collincollege president H. Neil Matkin has decided to not renew my contract for...mean tweets? From the HR letter: pic.twitter.com/eq4VF7BySx
— Dr. Lora Burnett (@LDBurnett) February 25, 2021
Burnett previously said on Twitter that former Vice President Mike Pence needs to shut "his little demon mouth up."
After the vice-presidential debate in October, Campus Reform reported on the reactions of several professors calling Pence a “racist,” “the father of all liars,” and, “a demon.” Among those professors was Lora Burnett from Collin College who stated on social media, “the moderator needs to talk over Mike Pence until he shuts his little demon mouth up.”
The backlash from the story grew further after being reported by Fox News, causing the president of the college, Neil Matkin, to publicly condemn Burnett’s comments.
[RELATED: 'Racist,' 'demon,' 'scumbag,' 'white boy': Profs take aim at Pence during VP debate]
The president’s comments caught the attention of The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) that began a series of letters back and forth between the college’s attorneys and the free speech organization.
In one letter to FIRE, the college explained that Burnett had been using her Collin College email to respond to individuals who had criticized her after she had done research on them, signing the email as a professor at the school.
“In one particular email string dated October 11th, Prof. Burnett researched the person who emailed her, located the individual’s place of employment and where the individual went to college, and then copied the individual’s school district’s email account on the extensive response," the letter stated.
The letter continued to state that Burnett researched another individual, found out where the individual lived, and again used her work email to respond. The college stated that she launched into, “Twitter counter-attacks on individuals and at least one local business.”
[RELATED: College president publicly condemns prof's 'hateful,' 'vile' tweets exposed by Campus Reform]
Burnett has also published the names and email addresses of the Board of Trustees of the college to her nearly 20,000 Twitter followers. A couple of weeks later, the president of Collin College deleted his Twitter account, to which Burnett stated, “FAFO, Neil. FAFO."
Shortly after Burnett thanked the Campus Reform correspondent who reported on her comments because she is “prospering,” Burnett posted screenshots of an email stating that her contract won’t be renewed and that the decision is final.
“Pursuant to Board policy, out District President has approved the contract non-renewal recommendation and such approval is a final decision. Therefore, your current faculty contract ends on May 14, 2021, after which time your employment at the college will end in accordance with the terms of the faculty contract," the notice in Burnett's screenshot read.
Another screenshot explained that the school expects staff to behave in a manner that aligns with the college’s standards, and then stated that Burnett had been insubordinate.
“As an employer, the college has a particular interest in maintaining a harmonious or disruptive-free working environment that does not include the type of conduct that you have chosen to engage in, such as insubordination, making private personnel issues public that impair the college’s operations, and personal criticisms of co-workers, supervisors, and/or those who merely disagree with you.”
Burnett hasn’t publicly stated whether she would take any legal action against Collin College, but commented, “interestingly, I have never before brought civil action against anyone in my life, nor even sought an out of court settlement.”
“Even when wronged, I’ve never felt that being litigious was worth the hassle. for the sake of my colleagues, this time might be worth the hassle," she tweeted.
According to the Allen American, a protest took place before a Board of Trustees meeting on March 2 where activists were protesting the college’s decision to not renew three professors' employment contracts, one of them including Burnett.
One of the organizers of the protest was almost given a citation by officers during the protest and became particularly fervent when a PA system started to be used.
Campus Reform has reached out to Collin College, FIRE, Matkin, and Burnett for comment but hasn’t received a response.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Haley_Worth