Ozarks community college fires teacher for bomb comment

Saturday, April 21, 2007

OZARK, Mo. -- Ozarks Technical Community College fired an instructor after students complained he had joked about being a suicide bomber.

The community college fired the teacher Thursday and filed a report with Ozark police about the part-time instructor.

College spokesman Joel Doepker said several students had complained that the instructor walked into class, set his briefcase on a table and said, "I'm a suicide bomber."

"As to the why, I really don't know. But after the class, several students complained to campus administrators about the comment," Doepker said.

The students said the comment was inappropriate after the Virginia Tech massacre this week.

Ozark police and the college did not release the teacher's name pending an investigation.

The Ozarks Technical Community College campus in the southwest Missouri town of Ozark opened in January with about 500 students.

A total of about 9,800 students are enrolled at the community college's main campus in Springfield and satellite centers in Branson, Lebanon and Waynesville, Doepker said.

"In light of what happened Monday at Virginia Tech, people are just more serious about comments that are made," Doepker said.

"But even without the Virginia Tech situation, (the instructor's comments) still would have been cause for termination."

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