Ilya Shapiro will not be teaching at Georgetown. Here’s why we should care.

Georgetown University GULC Law Center

Georgetown Law

At some point earlier in the pandemic, I made a little joke about how Ilya Shapiro wouldn’t have a career if he couldn’t complain about being a victim. I may have been onto something; he recently decided to resign from his position at GULC after they gave him the green light to start shaping the minds of our future lawyers.

Shapiro is no fool, and rather than work under such conditions, he tendered his resignation this morning. National exam obtained a copy of his resignation letter, citing “the hostile work environment you . . . have created. “You have prevented me from fulfilling the duties of my designated post,” he wrote; “You painted a target on my back such that I could never do the job I was hired to do.” By allowing any student to complain about an infraction without proving that the infraction was intentional or that the comments were objectively offensive, “any kind of comments that anyone – anyone – might find offensive would expose me to disciplinary action. It would be a huge sword of Damocles hanging over my head as I try to engage in my educational mission.

And he’s right about one thing. No teacher should want – much less should – work in a ‘hostile created work environment’ ‘with a target on their back such that they could never do the job they were hired to do’, which is why I would like to extend my condolences to the families and communities of Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia, the two teachers among the 19 children killed in the recent Uvalde shooting. They are victims of a gun culture that “paints a target on [their] back so that [they] can no longer do the job [they] were hired for. And I feel for current teachers elsewhere who feel like the sword of Damocles is upon them, so they’ve started sharing videos on how to protect their elementary or high school doors just in case someone would decide to shoot their class after recess.

I’d also like to do my homework as a kind of journalist and be transparent here – I overused a metaphor above. Traditionally, the Sword of Damocles is a parable that attempts to explain the precariousness of power by imagining how a poor man would react to the exercise of wealth and authority by a king if he were to sit on a throne with a sword suspended above. While Georgetown has a reputation for paying its assistants poorly, his placement in T14 would still give Mr. Shapiro a level of prestige that the average teacher earning $41,000 a year before taxes does not share.

I would also like to add that while GULC made it clear that they would not have tolerated or expected Mr. Shapiro to disparage black women during his time at law school, it was unclear whether he would have been expected to bring a gun to the class when he was teaching. An obligation that a growing number of people expect from primary, middle and high school teachers.

No seriously, we live in a country where people prefer to give teachers the responsibility to shoot a shooter or a child with a JR-15 in the head before they raise their salaries so they can afford to live close to their work. This will probably be very difficult for math teachers. Can you imagine how hard it must be to keep an eye on little Timmy because he’s been fidgeting around in his satchel for a little too long while trying to teach the rest of the class the quadratic equation? Maybe they’ll start adding mirrors to blackboards so teachers can prepare to shoot while facing the wall.

Let’s get back to the important thing at hand. Ilya won’t have to deal with any of this because he won’t be in a classroom. At GULC, at least. It’s all about free speech and fighting the culture war as he and National Review want you to think. It has nothing to do with distracting everyone from the reality that parents are afraid to send their children to school at a time when at least 44% of Republicans are treating school shootings as s ‘they were being treated for COVID – maybe our natural immunity to bullets will only begin if we develop a tolerance for it via repeated exposure to dead children, thoughts and prayers. It is certainly comforting to know that they are focused on the real threat to the minds of our nation. The liberal agenda and the cancellation of culture. Over time, they will surely learn to dodge bullets.

If you think I’m being too hard on the man, please read his extended moans about how his feelings are hurt that other people can say big mean things but he can’t. If you don’t have much time to commit to more than one T14’er crying about how he’s the real victim, it’s basically a several hundred word elaboration on this tweet.

Shapiro ends his soliloquy with the words “I won’t live this way.” Let’s keep focusing on him and ignore the kids and teachers going to school wondering if they’ll survive beyond the next period.

BREAKING: Ilya Shapiro resigns from Georgetown Law School [National Review]


Chris Williams became Social Media Manager and Associate Editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the team, he moonlighted as an underage Memelord™ in the Law School Memes for Edgy Facebook group T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University at St. Louis School of Law. He’s a former boatbuilder who can’t swim, a published author on critical racing theory, philosophy and humor, and has a love for cycling that sometimes annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at cwilliams@abovethelaw.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.

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