Our view: Inaction with Fitzpatrick

DKS Editors

Why is a Kent State professor with two felonies on his record still teaching here? What does that say about our university?

Daniel Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty to “carrying a concealed weapon, a fourth-degree felony, possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and operating a vehicle under the influence, a first-degree misdemeanor,” as first reported by the Record-Courier. He was sentenced to rehab.

That in itself is a shocking story, but it gets worse. A simple class search on FlashLine finds that he is still teaching two criminal justice courses this semester, one about police’s role and another about the investigative process. The university has admitted that he is still “scheduled to teach” and won’t even comment about whether he’s in danger of losing his job.

We understand that Fitzpatrick, with former roles as an assistant police chief for the university and as a drug task force director, now has relevant experience on both sides of the criminal justice system. But under no circumstances should someone in need of drug treatment — he had bath salts in his vehicle — be considered fit to teach college courses.

Besides, the university employment policy clearly states that possession of illegal drugs is prohibited and intolerable. Why do we even bother having such a policy if we aren’t going to enforce it? Would a student in Fitzpatrick’s position be permitted to continue studying at Kent State? We’re guessing not.

It’s not that we think Fitzpatrick is a bad person. When our reporter asked him for a comment he politely declined and wished her good luck on her story. We’ve heard his classes are very interesting. We just think that if the university has a policy for some, the policy should apply to all.

Practice what you preach, Kent State.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.