BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Authorities are investigating threats against a Virginia Tech student who called for a teaching assistant to be fired for statements he allegedly posted on social media. Virginia Tech undergraduate Tori Coan drew attention to Facebook posts by graduate student Mark Neuhoff, The Washington Post reported. In one post, Neuhoff cites an article that says “we’d have a better, more just world” if Hitler had won World War II.Coan has called for Neuhoff to be removed from teaching, but school officials say they are committed to free speech. Mark Owczarski, a spokesman for Virginia Tech, said he could not discuss specific student conduct or employment issues. Neuhoff says his posts have been distorted and taken out of context. He says he isn’t hateful or violent, and was having a nuanced discussion of history. After protesting Neuhoff’s post, Coan said someone posted her cellphone number on Facebook, causing her to receive numerous threatening phone calls. Blacksburg police are investigating.
“Terrified does not begin to cover the fear and the panic that had begun to set in,” she said of receiving the calls. Neuhoff has been a teaching assistant in introductory writing courses, but said he is choosing not to teach next semester.“I’m tired of the hateful mob that wants to crucify people,” he said.Coan is facing her own hearing Monday for a possible violation of the student conduct code, according to Lauren Malhotra, a senior at Virginia Tech, Malhotra said Neuhoff complained to the university about Coan’s public statements about him. Owczarski said he could not confirm the existence of a student conduct hearing because of privacy laws.