Aurora Shooting Joke Won't Get Gregory F. Sullivan, A United States Merchant Marine Academy Professor, Fired

09/13/2012 11:09 am ET

NEW YORK -- A professor at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in New York who faced dismissal for joking about the Colorado movie theater shootings has been suspended for 45 days instead.

Gregory F. Sullivan was showing students a documentary when he said: "If someone with orange hair appears in the corner of the room, run for the exit."

Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes has dyed bright orange hair.

The professor had just turned down the lights when he made the remark.

The father of one of his students was among the 12 people killed in the July 20 shooting.

Sullivan has apologized for the remark.