Former FAU professor James Tracy loses free speech case

The jury came to a verdict after three hours on Monday.


James Tracy claimed that FAU fired him because of controversial conspiracy theories he shared on his blog. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Benjamin Paley, Distribution Manager

Former communications professor James Tracy will not be getting his job back after a jury unanimously ruled in FAU’s favor, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

It took jurors three hours on Monday to rule against Tracy, who claims he was fired after writing on his blog that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.

The verdict comes after a week of testimony from Tracy, FAU faculty, administrators as well as former students of Tracy’s. 

Tracy’s lawsuit claimed that FAU’s firing violated his free speech rights. But university officials claim that he was fired because he repeatedly refused to fill out mandatory forms that disclosed his work outside of the school.

Tracy has not commented on the verdict, but one of his attorneys called reporters “presstitutes” and yelled “fake news” as he left the courtroom, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

FAU addressed the verdict in a statement released on their website:

“We are grateful for the careful consideration of the jury in this matter. The university will continue to prioritize its research mission and the education of its students. The university will make no further comment regarding this matter at this time.”

Tracy plans to appeal the verdict.

Benjamin Paley is the distribution manager of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].