He should have known better

Perhaps student Regent John Butler should take a COMS 100 class instead of teaching one.

Butler admitted to making false accusations about NIU President John La Tourette in the COMS 100 class he teaches. The accusations centered around a shadowy figure named “Don” who followed Butler and Student Association staff to two local bars, secretly trying to influence the SA to support the abolishment of the Board of Regents. Butler told his class he suspected “Don” was working on behalf of La Tourette.

Even though there was no basis for the accusation, Butler still recklessly and libelously announced his theory to his class. Butler said he later retracted his statement. However, sources within the class said they do not recall any clarification of the original story.

Whether the statement was retracted is not the issue at hand. The issue is that the statement should never have been made in the first place, regardless of the context.

Butler admitted that he is “not supposed to bring student politics into (his) classroom.” So the question remains, why did he? Perhaps Butler was trying to impress his class with his intuitiveness.

According to the NIU undergraduate catalogue, COMS 100 is a requirement for graduation that is supposed to educate students about the art of public speaking. It’s not to be used as a pulpit for half-baked political theories of the instructors, especially when they make slanderous statements about the highest-ranking official at NIU.

The fact remains that Butler brought student politics into his classroom and admitted that he was not supposed to. Whatever Butler intended, he needs to reevaluate his classroom etiquette.