University of Kansas professor Andrea Quenette was placed on leave after using a racial slur during a class discussion.
The 33-year-old white assistant communication studies professor was recently told that five students had filed discrimination complaints against her. In turn, Quenette requested a leave of absence, which the university granted. She will have to remain off-campus until the investigation is complete.
The story goes like this: on November 12, Quenette allegedly led a class discussion on how the university should address racial issues. Like Missouri, KU’s racial tensions have been building, with several student senate leaders stepping down and protesters demanding to their marginalized voices be heard.
According to FOX News,
She said she pointed out that racist incidents on other campuses, including the University of Missouri‘s Columbia campus, have been very visible, and used the slur when comparing the University of Kansas to the other incidents. Quenette said she could have apologized “in the moment” if anyone had responded, but no one did, so she continued the discussion.
But Amy Schumacher, a first-year doctoral student who was in the class of nine white students and one black student, said most “just shut down” after Quenette’s using the slur. Schumacher said she believes Quenette “actively violated policies” during the discussion, hurt students’ feelings — including the one black student, who left “devastated” — and has a previous history of being unsympathetic to students.
Several people immediately took to social media to address the situation.
When 50% of a GRADUATE level classroom are so offended they file official complaints, MAYBE something is actually up😒 #FireAndreaQuenette
— Lexi🌼 (@Lexi52994) November 22, 2015
— Amy Hodges (@thehodges) November 23, 2015
hey #FireAndreaQuenette, KU fund your diapers yet?
— SamuraiSexRobot (@samuraisexrobot) November 21, 2015
Quenette’s husband is also taking a stand with his GoFundMe campaign, an attempt to raise money for his wife’s legal fees.
— Scott Quarantine 🇺🇸🇨🇦🇳🇴 (@ScottQuenette) November 21, 2015
Several students even revealed that they were afraid to return to class and have the allegedly racist teacher in charge of their grades. “I don’t think it will be a safe environment for me,” student Jyleesa Hampton told the student paper when asked about teaching.
However, it doesn’t look like Quenette is backing down anytime soon. “I didn’t intend to offend anyone,” she said. “I didn’t intend to hurt anyone. I didn’t direct my words at any individual or group of people.”
So what do you think? Should she be fired? Tell us in the comments below.