George Takei is famous for playing Mr. Sulu on "Star Trek," but long before he made his mark in Hollywood he was one of the many children imprisoned in an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.

So it's understandable that he was fuming after a local associate history professor wrote an opinion piece for the Tri-City Herald claiming the relocation and the internment of more than 12,000 Japanese Americans in Washington state wasn't racist.

Gary Bullert, who teaches at Columbia Basin College in Kennewick, claimed in his guest column that the internment camps were to ensure national security after the war, which the United States entered after Japan's 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Mr. Bullert is entitled to his opinion, but because Columbia Basin College is a publicly funded institution, Takei called him out. It's one thing to have an erroneous opinion, Takei argued, but quite another to be teaching your view as fact in a college classroom paid for by tax dollars.

The Huffington Post stepped in quickly with an article that rebutted Bullert's column, and Takei's millions of the social-media followers are now involved in a heated online debate.

It all raise an interesting question: As a publicly paid educator, does Mr. Bullert have a social responsibility to make sure he teaches facts, not opinions?

Tell us what you think.