As long as it is clear he is speaking on his own behalf and not as a representative of the school, his speech should be protected. If his account is in any way tied to the school, then he is speaking as a representative of the school, and cannot exercise his right to free speech in that capacity.
I agree in principle, but how many times have we seen the calling for and the resulting firing/resignation for people speaking unpopular speech? The University is covering their ass. With something like the NRA he could probably get half of the people to agree with/be sympathetic to his statement. If he said something more racists or sexist, support for his would be slim.
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