Judy Morelock, a University of Tennessee Knoxville professor was fired after she shamed a student on social media, for so-called racist behavior.
Kayla Parker, a student at the university stated that Morelock had presented her class, including Parker, a multiple choice quiz. One of the questions, on the quiz read, ““Historical research on African-American families during slavery shows that: A) Family ties weren’t important in African cultures where the slaves’ ancestors originated; consequently, family bonds were never strong among slaves. B) Two-parent families were extremely rare during the slave period. C) Black family bonds were destroyed by the abuses of slave owners, who regularly sold off family members to other slave owners. D) Most slave families were headed by two parents.”
Parker further mentioned that she selected the option C, as her answer, however, it was marked as wrong. Morelock had advised Parker that the correct answer was option D.
To this, Parker sent the professor an email to further clarify her response and to present information backing up her answer.
As per Parker, Morelock went on to disagree with Parker. Moreover, to make matter worse, Morelock posted a version of the Parker’s email on Facebook, where she and her friends took turns discussing Parker’s viewpoint.
“I was shocked,” she wrote. “I knew it was something out of the ordinary when I saw her posting on my Facebook, because I’ve never seen a professor do that.
Parker had indicated that Morelock began “making backhanded comments directed at me.”
“For example,” she wrote, “‘Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bring the textbook to class today because my bag is full of other texts for a student who requires further evidence on subjects I teach in class.”
Ever since, the comments had gone viral, the school removed Morelock from her position and placed her on a suspension. This did not stop Morelock. Upon her removal, she wrote on Facebook, “A student and her friends posted inflammatory, derogatory, libelous comments on her Facebook page and demeaned my character, honesty, and integrity … Nonetheless, she filed a complaint against me with [the University] administration and they decided she has the right to impugn my character but I had no right to defend myself. Consequently, I’ve been placed on administration leave and will likely be terminated this week.” Morelock was suspended soon after her post.
While Parker insisted that Morelock did not make use of any racial slurs or nicknames, she felt that the way in which Morelock reacted to her correction portrayed “racism.”
“If students can’t raise questions in class, it’s not a thriving, healthy academic institution,” she wrote. “College is supposed to be a place where you can agree and disagree and have intellectual discussions and that’s all I was trying to do.”