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Ferris State Professor Fired Over Racist, Homophobic Twitter Slurs

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Ferris State University has fired Thomas Brennan, a physical science professor who was placed on administrative leave in November for posting racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic slurs on social media.

Brennan’s mental health appeared to be a constant concern for fellow faculty and the administration. One pressing issue was when he alleged the pandemic was a “leftist stunt” during a faculty meeting.

The professor sent his termination letter to MLive on Friday. The outlet revealed how it described Brennan as perpetuating a “pattern of unprofessional and harassing behavior” that created an “intimidating campus environment.”

‘Free Speech and Disability’

On February 27, Brennan announced that he was officially fired from Ferris and published his defense statement and supporting documents, explaining his behavior resulted from a “personal crisis involving extremely painful migraines, EMF sensitivity, and a series of repeated break-ins into my home.”

Further, Brennan argued that he was merely “exercising free speech rights on Twitter as a result of my disability.”

Brennan’s supporting documents include the results of a CT scan and MRI, a 2019 police report regarding his mental health and “some harassment he was receiving,” and a letter from Ferris’ Human Resources Department calling him to a fitness for duty evaluation.

Scans of these documents are followed by a letter from his physician, Dr. Thomas Wright, dated December 30, 2019, which noted that there was no “clear and convincing evidence of delusion or other mental or physical health condition that would interfere with the performance of your job or cause a threat to yourself or anyone else.”

Despite the physician’s findings, the next few scanned documents detail continued harassment of Brennan as well as an email from Brennan to his supervisor where he reported the possible sabotage of the observatory.

Finally, the PDF file closes with screenshots of progress notes between Dr. Wright and Brennan’s other physician, Dr. Emily Reuther, revealing their suspicions that he could still “be delusional” despite Dr. Wright’s initial declaration.

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