UPenn TA boasts of calling on white male students last
A University of Pennsylvania teaching assistant recently boasted that she calls on students based on their ethnicity.
A graduate student teaching assistant at the University of Pennsylvania admitted to intentionally calling on white men last, and only if she has to, during class discussions.
“I will always call on Black women students first. Other POC get second tier priority. WW [white women] come next. And, if I have to, white men,” Stephanie McKellop wrote in a recent tweet, prompting an investigation from the university.
"I will always call on Black women students first. Other POC get second tier priority."
McKellop, a white woman herself, later defended the tweet, noting that she was taught this practice by an “amazing” professor.
“I was taught that ^ as an undergrad by an amazing prof. In normal life, who has the easiest time speaking, most opportunities? Flip it,” she elaborated, admitting in a subsequent series of tweets that the university would be “issuing a press release and condemning me and my teaching practices.”
“I don’t know what you all can do. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I had the cute idea that Penn could defend me against Nazis haha. Isn’t that funny,” she added.
Steven Fluharty, the dean of UPenn’s School of Arts and Sciences, issued that response in a written statement Thursday, but while he acknowledged that the school would be “looking into the current matter,” he flatly denied that McKellop had been removed from the PhD program.
“The university’s policies prohibiting discrimination are intended to reinforce our commitment to equity and inclusion,” Fluharty wrote, noting that the school recognizes “the importance of ensuring that students in groups that were historically marginalized have full opportunity to participate in classroom discussions.”
“We are looking into the current matter involving a graduate-student teaching assistant to ensure that our students were not subjected to discriminatory practices in the classroom and to ensure that all of our students feel heard and equally engaged,” he continued, but added that “contrary to some reports, the graduate student has not been removed from the program, and we have and will continue to respect and protect the graduate student’s right to due process.”
While she has not been removed from the program, McKellop insists she was prevented from teaching the remainder of the week, alleging that “They did keep me from going to lecture with my students and they *cancelled* their classes with me this week.”
Campus Reform has reached out to McKellop and is currently awaiting her response.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @KylePerisic