Abington Professor Who Smoked On Plane No Longer Teaching
Karen Halnon, the Penn State Abington sociology professor arrested after causing a disruption on a flight from Nicaragua to Miami two weeks ago, is no longer teaching at the university according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Halnon was charged with disorderly conduct after smoking a cigarette and going on a tirade about Barack Obama. An eyewitness claimed the professor said, “Barack Obama kills people on Tuesdays,” and said Hugo Chavez was her “great hero” in response to the United States’ declaration of Venezuela as a national security threat. Halnon’s rant lasted two hours according to eyewitnesses, even after a flight attendant asked her to stop. Part of her rant was also caught on video by several of the plane’s passengers.
Halnon was returning from a trip to Nicaragua with two undergraduate students. They were conducting research on “mothers, singles, and catholic faith in Nicaragua.” She later apologized for her actions while students were with her.
According to Penn State spokesperson Lisa Powers, Halnon remains employed by Penn State. Powers told the Inquirer the university’s investigation into the incident is still ongoing. Halnon has been an employee at the Abington campus since 1999.