A wacky Florida college professor who has long insisted the Sandy Hook school shooting was staged by the government was fired Tuesday, just a month after the parents of a child killed in the 2012 Connecticut attack accused him of taunting them.
James Tracy, a tenured associate professor of media history at Florida Atlantic University, was given his walking papers Tuesday, according to the school. Although the school did not specify its reasons, Tracy has made headlines by claiming on his blog that the school shooting, in which 20 children and six adults were killed by a mentally ill gunman, never happened. He made similar claims about the movie shooting rampage in Aurora, Colo., later that year, the 2013 Boston marathon bombing and other mass shootings.
“Tracy is among those who have personally sought to cause our family pain and anguish by publicly demonizing our attempts to keep cherished photos of our slain son from falling into the hands of conspiracy theorists.”
- Leonard and Veronique Pozner
“Tracy is among those who have personally sought to cause our family pain and anguish by publicly demonizing our attempts to keep cherished photos of our slain son from falling into the hands of conspiracy theorists,” Leonard and Veronique Pozner wrote in a Dec. 10 opinion piece for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The Pozners’ son Noah was one of the children killed in the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre. The still-grieving parents claimed that Tracy sent them a certified letter demanding proof Noah ever existed, then ridiculed them on his blog when they refused to respond.
Tracy previously told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel he considers his conspiracy-mongering a scholarly endeavor.
“I describe myself as a scholar and public intellectual interested in going more deeply into controversial public events,” he said. “Although some may see [my theories] as beyond the pale, I am doing what we should be doing as academics.”
The Boca Raton public university told FoxNews.com in 2013, when his Sandy Hook claims first surfaced, that Tracy was speaking only for himself when he wrote: “While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place — at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.”
He later theorized that the Boston marathon attack, in which three people were killed and nearly 200 injured, was a “mass casualty drill” planned by the government.
“In short, the event closely resembles a mass-casualty drill, which for training purposes are designed to be as lifelike as possible,” Tracy wrote on his blog. “Since it is mediated, however, and primarily experienced from afar through the careful assemblage of words, images and the official pronouncements and commentary of celebrity journalists, it has the semblance of being, for all practical purposes, ‘real.’”
Once again, the school was forced to distance itself from the professor.
“As with all postings on his personal blog, Florida Atlantic University does not agree with Mr. Tracy’s views or opinions,” a spokesperson told FoxNews.com. “His editorialized postings do not reflect the positions of the University or its leaders.”
While it is not clear what role the Pozners’ poignant essay played in the conspiracy kook’s ouster, the outraged parents called on the school to take action.
“It matters not if Tracy simply refrains from mentioning FAU when defaming murdered Americans and their families,” they wrote. “There is ample evidence to demonstrate that his extracurricular misconduct has already adversely affected FAU’s reputation and will continue doing so as long as he continues down this path.”