Lots of people enjoy HBO's Game of Thrones, but most of them haven't been suspended from work because of it.
Most, but not all. Just ask New Jersey art and animation professor, Francis Schmidt, who was put on unpaid suspension when Bergen Community College officials deemed a picture of his young daughter wearing a GoT t-shirt a violent threat.
A chilling photo? Or just a child chilling?
Schmidt is a self-described "eccentric" who posts lots of fantasy fiction-related images, especially ones from GoT. So most people weren't too surprised when he posted a photo of his daughter wearing the tagline for the new season of GoT, "I will take what is mine with fire & blood."
But one dean who saw it considered it a threat, and the professor was called into a meeting where he was grilled for hours about the phrase on the shirt. One security guard insisted that "fire" might actually be a codeword for "AK-47."
The AK-47 has many components, but "fire & blood" are not among them.
Despite his explanation of the phrase (and the posting's coincidence with the release of the trailer for the new season) Schmidt was placed on administrative leave without pay and forced to see a psychiatrist before returning to work.
Schmidt believes the suspension was retaliation for a grievance he filed against the college after being denied sabbatical. He has since returned to work and the faculty union has voted "no confidence" in the college's president, citing his suspension among other factors.
Via Inside Higher Ed