Merchant Marine Academy Professor Joked About Colorado Shooting In Front Of Victim's Child

James Holmes

Photo: Aurora PD

“If someone with orange hair appears in the corner of the room, run for the exit.”A professor at the United States Merchant Marine Academy who uttered what he thought was a joke while showing a documentary in class might be fired after his remark upset a student, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The joke was a reference to alleged Colorado shooter James Holmes who sported bright orange hair when he allegedly opened fire on a crowded movie theatre.

Prof. Gregory Sullivan’s joke was made 11 days after the massacre. And while it might not ever be funny, it was especially offensive to one student in the room whose father died in the attack.

“Hearing his teacher’s joke, the student left the room, obviously upset,” the Times reported citing an internal personnel document.

Now the academy’s dean is recommending Sullivan be fired for his quip, saying it was “notoriously disgraceful conduct.”

Sullivan claims he was unaware of the student’s loss, but the university said he should have known since an email was sent around informing teachers the student would be missing classes to attend the funeral.

Sullivan, who wouldn’t comment on the case to the Times, has been suspended while the school makes a final decision about whether he’ll be fired.

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