A Florida college professor fired after publicly saying the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut was a hoax has lost a lawsuit claiming he was wrongfully terminated.
Local news outlets report that a federal jury on Monday sided with Florida Atlantic University against former communications professor James Tracy.
The jury only took three hours to deliberate and unanimously sided with the university in Boca Raton, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The school contended Tracy was fired last year not because of his blog posts about the Sandy Hook school shooting but because he violated rules regarding reporting of outside work.
Former communications professor James Tracy filed a wrongful termination suit against Florida Atlantic University; he claimed his termination constituted a violation of his free speech. He has lost his lawsuit
Tracy was fired after posting on his blog about his theories that the Sandy Hook massacre, in which 20 children and six adults were killed, was a hoax
Florida Atlantic University said that Tracy was fired due to his repeated failure to report the work he did outside of his professorship. Attorneys for the school also say that he used his professorship as a platform to advance his blog
The school said that he repeatedly did not disclose such work in mandatory forms.
An attorney for the school said Tracy used his professorship as a platform to advance his blog.
‘The school wasn’t his priority,’ the attorney told the Sentinel. ‘That’s not what it’s supposed to be about.’
The school’s attorneys also argued that Tracy did not do enough to distance his personal opinions from the school on his blog.
Tracy, 52, claimed his firing violated his free speech rights.
He wrote on his blog that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax by the government to impose tougher gun control.
Adam Lanza went to Sandy Hook elementary school on December 14, 2012 and killed 26 people and himself
He wrote a chapter on a book called Nobody Died at Sandy Hook: It Was a FEMA Drill to Promote Gun Control.
He publicly feuded with Lenny and Veronique Pozner, whose six-year-old son, Noah, was killed in the massacre.
Tracy sought reinstatement to his position, back pay and damages.
One of his attorneys reportedly at reporters while exiting the courthouse, WPTV reports.
He said: ‘Shame on you. Shame on you Fake News….Get out of here. Presstitutes.’
Tracy had received tenure in 2008 and was a professor at the university from 2002 until 2016.
Twenty children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook in 2012.