A business professor at a college in Canada has lost his job after posting a vehemently antigay message on Facebook.
Rick Coupland, a professor at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ont., last week shared a report from a Florida TV station about the raising of LGBT flags in St. Petersburg for Pride Month. He added this comment: “It’s the queers they should be hanging, not the flag.”
After college administrators received complaints, they began investigating the matter, and today on the school’s Facebook page, they announced, “Mr. Coupland is no longer an employee at St. Lawrence College.” An earlier post had noted that his comment was “not a reflection of our college values.”
“We have several policies that apply to the conduct of our employees,” college spokeswoman Kelly Wiley told the Kingston Whig-Standard when the investigation began. “This includes the fact that we adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code; we also have harassment policies, a policy around outside activities of college employees, and our collective agreement.” The human rights code bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.
It’s unclear what exactly motivated Coupland’s rage, although his post, now deleted but captured in a screen shot, came a few days after the St. Lawrence College campus in Brockville opened a “Rainbow Way,” the Whig-Standard reports. “Rainbow Way is the newly painted pathway on the Brockville campus that celebrates our LGBT staff and students and is a visual representation of the College’s inclusive community,” said a July 14 post on the college’s Facebook page. “We hope to bring similar pathways to our Cornwall and Kingston campuses as well.”
Coupland declined an interview with the Kingston paper, but when the investigation started, he wrote on Facebook, “Please pray for me and my job.” His entire Facebook page has now been deleted.