Sissy Bradford, a criminology adjunct lecturer at Texas A&M University-San Antonio who objected to decorative crosses on a tower at the university’s entrance, says she was harassed for her views, and fears for her safety. Also – she will not be asked back to teach next fall, reports the San Antonio Express-News.

Bradford, who is Jewish, says she has been receiving hate messages, including death threats, in letters, email and Facebook posts.


Marilu Reyna, a spokeswoman for the university, said Sissy Bradford was one of some 20 adjunct staff members who won’t be teaching next fall because “changing needs.”

Last October, Bradford objected to the display of crosses on the “Torre de Esperanza,” or Tower of Hope, which bears an A&M University-San Antonio emblem. The tower was built with city money but on private land.

Bradford and a few students said the crosses were an inappropriate promotion of Christianity at a public university. The crosses were removed in November.

The messages started pouring in. One letter read: “As a professor, do you have a right to live? … The day you die, a cross is going to be inside your coffin and a cross on your tomb to let you know who is KING.”

Another letter said: “Just so you know how disgusting I think you are!”

Bradford told the San Antonio Express-News that she had been told she’d teach two criminology classes on community perspectives and two others on social deviance. She has hired an attorney in preparation for a possible lawsuit.

But Spokeswoman Reyna said Bradford wasn’t singled out in the decision not to rehire adjunct faculty members. She said adjuncts are hired on a semester-by-semester basis.

Kirsten Verdi, who graduated with a psychology bachelor’s degree in December, told the San Antonio Express-News that she decided not to apply to graduate school there because of the mindset expressed by fellow students on Facebook and in comments on the student newspaper’s website.

“If they cannot provide a safe environment, an unbiased environment, a religion-neutral environment … I can take my money somewhere else,” Verdi said.



  1. 20 adjuncts were let go because our University is going through the accreditation process and is required to have more tenured professors than adjuncts (PhDs vs Masters degrees) Because she lacked a PhD, she wasn't eligible for a tenured position.

    The University does not have it's own accreditation, and only recently began the process. We are currently utilizing Texas A&m University-Kingsvilles accreditation.

    It had nothing to do with her identify as an ethnic Jew; I'm Jewish, I spoke up in the fall and I was never retaliated against.

    If you really want to help her, send her gift certificates, send her money but don't make her situation into something it isn't; it had nothing to do with identifying as Jewish.

  2. I am Kirsten Verdi and if anybody at this paper would like to talk to me about my experiences at the university please feel free to contact me. The cross debacle took the cake but there were more things that I had to fix for myself prior, Rachel does not know everything about my experiences there! Unless information was leaked that got into hands where it doesn't belong.

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