A University of Maryland official is coming under fire after he sent an email to students where he wrote that the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case is evidence that "it is legal to hunt down and kill American children in Florida.”
George Zimmerman was cleared of all charges in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
William Dorland, the director of the school's Honors College, began his letter by welcoming students back to campus but quickly switched gears to political matters.
"This year, the most activist Supreme Court in the history of the United States and radical factions of gun owners, gun manufacturers, and marijuana users are challenging the very fabric of the nation," he wrote in the letter.
Jim Purtilo, a University of Maryland computer science professor, said left-wing leaning comments struck him as inappropriate, Fox News reported. "It's over the top. But very much business as usual on this campus," he said.
"Sending politically charged emails like this not only alienates students, but also adds to our toxic political discourse," said Students for Liberty president Ross Marchand.
Dorland acknowledged that he did receive complaints but defended his position.
"There were three students and a faculty member who asked me not to use such violent or inappropriate language in the future, and I apologized to them because I didn't want to offend anybody. But I did want to stir things up," he said. "In my job here I'm pretty apolitical. You can ask the students. I will take the side of Pope Benedict on an argument, and the next day take the side of a new Pope. You know, the intellectual position in the world is to engage people and get them to talk about what they believe in."