“[A] tenured professor of history sent a young Air Force Academy cadet some e-mail containing inflammatory, anti-military comments. Professor Peter N. Kirstein, an avowed pacifist, quickly apologized to the cadet and to the Air Force Academy for his e-mail message, but in the meantime thousands of other interested parties have taken offense.”
—“Furious” Peter N. Kirstein, Ph.D. vs. “Baby-killing” Cadet Kurpeil, Xavier University)
While Prof. Kirstein sounds annoyed that his private e-mail to Cadet Kurpeil got spread across the Internet, his action was completely unprofessional. Kirstein has every right his pacifist beliefs, and every right to share them with whomever he wishes. But “You are worse than the snipers” is hardly the voice of a trustworthy academic, who’s supposed to be able to comprehend all sides of an issue. Now that he’s been relieved of his teaching duties, Kirstein will have some time on his hands to reflect on how much damage it’s possible to inflict on yourself by hitting “send” without thinking about what you are doing.