PITTSBURGH — A professor at Duquesne University was placed on paid leave after video surfaced showing him using a racial slur during a virtual lesson.
The professor was not named by the university, but he did teach education. Effective Friday afternoon, he was put on paid leave pending an investigation.
Multiple videos showing the portions of the virtual class lesson were posted om social media Friday afternoon.
“He is not teaching,” Gabriel Welsch, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, said in a statement.
Here is the full statement sent to Channel 11:
"I am writing this afternoon to let you know that I am aware of what transpired in your class yesterday and to offer my sincere apologies to you for what you experienced. I learned about this incident from students who emailed their advisor. I am also aware that a student emailed the professor directly. I understand that sending those emails was not easy and I want to thank students for using their voices to share the troubling and disturbing language that was used by your professor in class.
"To be clear, I believe that there is never a time, pedagogically or otherwise, for a professor to create a hostile learning environment. I know this from my experience as a student, a professor, and now as Interim Dean of the School of Education. Using the ‘N word’ or seemingly encouraging students to use that word is not in keeping with the mission of the University, the School of Education, or the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
"As a professor in the Leading Teaching Program here in the School of Education, I often speak about teachable moments. This is one of them. As an educator, you should always be mindful of the impact of your actions on the students you are obligated by the profession to teach. Your intentions are of no consequence when a student’s learning is disrupted by what you believe to be okay. Your actions are what students will remember.
“Please know that this matter is being taken very seriously by School of Education leadership, and please feel free to reach out to us if you have any ongoing questions or concerns.”
Duquesne University takes very seriously our work in creating an inclusive environment."
In a statement sent to TribLive.com, School of Education Dean Gretchen Generett said in part, “Please know that this matter is being taken very seriously by School of Education leadership.”
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