RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – N.C. State has suspended a faculty member from teaching after students posted to social media saying a professor spoke to students inappropriately.
CBS 17 spoke with a student who says she was in that physics class.
“I’m sure he meant the comment as a joke but it’s hard to joke about that when you’re in a stem discipline and not a lot of women are in stem in the first place,” said NC State Student, Maira Hakque.
Hakque says when her professor started going over their homework assignment, things took a turn.
A student posted to Twitter on Monday saying “My physics professor had the AUDACITY to say ‘the women in this class are useless’… the day I let a white man talk to me like that is the day I’m 6 feet in the cold hard ground.”
“He randomly called on one girl and she didn’t have the problem with her,” explained Hakque. “She said she forgot the paper at home and he kind of got a little aggressive from that and he just kept berating her like, ‘Oh, how old are you?’ She’s like, ‘I’m 20 years old.’ He’s like, ‘How could you forget? Were you dropped on your head as a baby? Do you have memory problems?’”
She says then the professor moved on to another student, who also happened to be a woman,
“She didn’t have the paper either and her response, before he could berate her or anything, was, ‘I guess I have memory problems too,’ so it was just kind of like an awkward pause for the whole class.”
She says what that professor said next made the entire class gasp in shock.
“That’s when he said the comment that bothered so many of us, he said, ‘I guess the women in this class are useless. I think I should call on a man.’”
That’s when Hakque spoke up.
“Ever since the first day of class we’ve had this back and forth with the professor where either he’s really condescending or he’s really rude or something like that, but I feel like that comment really crossed the line,” said Hakque. “So I was just like, ‘Why are we putting up with this?’ I just told him like, instead of being condescending maybe you should just do your job and teach us and that’s all I said and everybody just started clapping.”
The student went on to say the professor was condescending to two female students before saying “the women in this class are useless let me call on a man.”
Another student posted a video of the professor appearing to clarify his statement by saying it was a joke.
N.C. State University would not confirm the identity of the professor but released a statement that read:
“The university is actively investigating reports of inappropriate language in the classroom. Reports were shared with the university via Twitter (https://twitter.com/avery__earnest/status/1179168763993829376) and through the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.”
The statement went on to say:
“The faculty member has been immediately suspended from teaching while this incident is being further investigated. At NC State we take pride in our campus culture which values and strives to live our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.”