University of Tampa faculty member ‘relieved of duties’ after comments about Hurricane Harvey

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The University of Tampa announced that a faculty member who made comments about people impacted by Hurricane Harvey has been “relieved of his duties.”

The university condemned the comments Monday night in a statement on Facebook. According to the post, faculty member Kenneth Storey made comments via his private social media account about the hurricane. The comments “were not made within his capacity as a faculty member, and they don’t represent the University’s views,” the statement says.

News Channel 8 was sent the alleged comments via Twitter.

The founder of the conservative organization Turning Point USA also posted screenshots of Storey’s alleged tweet, sparking outrage online.

On Tuesday, the University of Tampa sent News Channel 8 this statement that was sent to the UT community:

On Sunday, Aug. 27, visiting assistant professor of sociology Kenneth Storey made comments on a private Twitter account that do not reflect UT’s community views or values. We condemn the comments and the sentiment behind them, and understand the pain this irresponsible act has caused.

Storey has been relieved of his duties at UT, and his classes will be covered by other sociology faculty.

As Floridians, we are well aware of the destruction and suffering associated with tropical weather. Our thoughts and prayers are with all impacted by Hurricane Harvey.


We reached out to Katie Hawkins-Gaar at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg.

“I think ever suggesting that people deserve something, like a natural disaster, is never a good thing,” she said.

Hawkins-Gaar stressed the importance of knowing a company’s online and social media policy and making sure to follow the rules.

“Just slow down and pause before you post whatever is coming to your mind,” she said.


You can donate to the Red Cross by going to its website, calling 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or texting 90999 to donate $10. The money goes toward recovery efforts.

Give Now

  •  Grab your phone
  •  Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 now.

Or, Donate Online

Donate to the Red Cross online here.


For more stories about the conditions in Texas from Harvey click here. 

STORIES OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-

>> BACK TO TOP-CLICKED STORIES

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s