WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A University of North Carolina-Wilmington professor who posted a Facebook status that said “Blow up Republicans” has resigned from the board of a nonprofit he founded.
Dr. Dan Johnson left Accessible Coastal Carolina Events, Sports and Services (ACCESS) of Wilmington on Monday, Wilmington StarNews reported.
Executive director John Smist said that the nonprofit “is unaffiliated with any politics.”
“Our bylaws expressly provide that ACCESS of Wilmington shall take no position on matters of governmental policy other than those relevant to its purposes,” Smist said.
Johnson is an associate professor of recreation therapy, according to the School of Health and Applied Human Science’s website. His biography said he was a liaison between the university and the nonprofit, which aims to improve access to sporting activities and facilities for people with disabilities. Johnson didn’t return messages from the newspaper seeking comment on Monday.
The university said the since-deleted post from May was “free speech protected by the First Amendment” after it was written about on a conservative website last week.
School officials determined that “no matter how upsetting and distasteful such comments may be,” the post didn’t direct a true threat at anyone in the community. The university’s statement said that Johnson “expressed deep remorse.”
Woody White, who serves on the university’s board of trustees, has asked Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli to further investigate the status. He’s the only board member who has called for an investigation so far.
“The words he chose to post called for violence. Violence against people with whom he disagrees,” White said in an email. “That is unacceptable commentary, even if it was impulsive and even if he is sorry for it now.”