Petraeus Heckled Leaving College Class

Sep 13 2013 | 10:14am ET

Newly-minted Kohlberg Kravis Roberts executive David Petraeus had a rough first day of school.

The retired Army general and former Central Intelligence Agency director was heckled by student protesters as he made his from teaching his first class at the City University of New York's Macaulay Honors College. Petraeus is serving as a visiting professor at CUNY in addition to his chairmanship of the KKR Global Institute.

The protestors are heard calling Petraeus a "war criminal," "murderer," "disgusting imperialist" and "piece of shit" in a video of him walking to class. He does not react to the taunts.

The student group leading the protest pledged to meet Petraeus at every class and "make his time in New York a living hell." They promised to be back on Monday.

"The purpose of the protest is to let the administration know that war criminals cannot be hired, especially on a campus that historically has been a working-class institution," Queens College student Erick Moreno told The Guardian. "He is obviously not in our interest, so we want him out of campus."

A CUNY faculty member, Hunter College Professor Sandor John, also helped organize the protest, saying, "a lot of our students are from countries that have been targeted by the United States. We don't want someone like him on campus."

Macaulay Dean Ann Kirschner pleaded for civility in future protests.

"We may disagree, but we must always do so in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding," she wrote in a statement. "While the college supports the articulation of all points of view on critical issues, it is essential that dialogue within the academic setting always be conducted civilly."

Petraeus is teaching a class called, "Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade?" with about 100 students.

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