California State University, Fresno has suspended a tenured professor after two students charged that he threatened to bring a gun to class and start shooting. Other students say Parks didn’t threaten the class, the Fresno Bee reported, but the incident has sparked a police investigation by Fresno State officials.
Jose Francisco Escutia, the first student who reported the alleged threat, told the University Police Department that Parks talked to a teacher-preparation class in mid-February about a school shooting, and then said, “I wish I could bring my s— and shoot all of you. Ah, I’m kidding, hah, hah, hah,” according to a police report.
According Fresno State representatives, education professor Joe Parks denies the allegation but recognizes that his position could be in jeopardy. Parks, who is Black, has taught at Fresno State for 10 years.
Parks was suspended in late February. The professor’s alleged remarks could violate Fresno State’s workplace threats policy, a detective wrote in his report. The policy says the university does not tolerate violence or threats of violence.
Parks did talk in class about carrying a gun for protection when he conducted research in tough parts of Los Angeles, the Fresno Bee reported. Some students believe Park’s remark may have been misinterpreted.
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