After receiving numerous messages about what consequences a Northwestern State University faculty member would face regarding incendiary comments that were made on social media regarding people who are unvaccinated, the NPJ reached out to the university for a follow up.
The response reads:
There have been discussions between the administration and this faculty member, but the university cannot comment on personnel matters. The university’s response to this individual’s comments has been posted on social media platforms.
Shortly after this response was received it was brought to the Journal’s attention that the faculty member in question made a statement on her personal Facebook page regarding the event. It reads:
By now I am sure most of you know what went down yesterday. In response to the mask mandate, I wrote on the governor’s website that I was furious that we had to return to these measures because so many people refused to get masked. I ended by saying that, at this point, I didn’t care if all the unmasked people died. I know that wasn’t wise. I also know that’s a sentiment that has come up repeatedly in conversations I have had since we returned from Croatia. However, my words were interpreted as my wishing everyone dead, which is not what I said. It’s ironic that having spent my life teaching students to read what the text says rather than what they think it says, this is happening now.
I have so been inundated with hate mail, much of it threatening, and I will not be leaving my house for awhile. I have spoken with the Provost and I will be taking leave over the fall semester. Some of the vitriol was directed not only at me, but also at the Scholar’s College and given the always already threat of violence on campus, I do not want to subject any of my colleagues or our students, to danger. Most of you know that I have been dreaming of retirement, although I planned to do it in a more dignified manner. However, at the end of fall semester I will retire. Emotionally, I have been ready for a couple years and now wish I had done it before Covid set in, although who knew that was going to happen? I hoped to hang in for two more years for financial reasons, but most of you know I am tired to the core. My intentional tremor is getting worse and the shaking can make it difficult to type or to turn pages. I’ve never not been a fighter, and I have always wanted to model resilience and resistance to our students, but I’m not sure that is wise now. I will finish the book I am working on and I know I will miss the classroom discussion that has always driven me.
As for my current and former students, you have been the reason I stayed on so long. You are the most amazing group of people I have ever known and it has truly been an honor to share a classroom with you.
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