Professor’s spelling corrections on student papers called racist, sign of times

UCLA protest
Nora Cisneros reads the group’s letter to Professor Rust. Photo credit: Daily Bruin

California graduate students staged a sit-in demonstration against one of their professors, claiming his practice of correcting grammar, spelling and punctuation on course papers contributes to a “toxic” racial climate.

I should add that Val Rust, the man who had the temerity to take out his red pen, doesn’t teach physics or mathematics — he is a professor emeritus at the University of California at Los Angeles’ Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, according to The Daily Bruin, the school newspaper.

A majority of the 25 demonstrators were minority students, and seven them drafted a letter to the professor that was read by Nora Cisneros, one of the protesters.

“There are documented and undocumented stories of a hostile and toxic environment for students of color here in Moore Hall and throughout the campus,” Cisneros said, reading from the letter.

Since then, Rust’s current and former students have come to his defense, according to a later edition of The Bruin.

Rust sent a letter to colleagues calling the demonstrators’ allegations a form of “micro-aggression.”

“I have attempted to be rather thorough on the papers and am particularly concerned that they do a good job with their bibliographies and citations, and these students apparently don’t feel that is appropriate,” Rust said in the letter.

I’m not blaming the students — they’re merely the monster America has created. They’re the product of an entitlement society where every participant gets a trophy and each graduate is valedictorian.

The result is reflected in our students’ sinking rankings compared to those of other countries.

USA Today reported:

Scores from the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment to be released Tuesday show 15-year-old students in the U.S. performing about average in reading and science, and below average in math. Out of 34 countries, the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math.

“The United States’ failure to educate its students leaves them unprepared to compete and threatens the country’s ability to thrive in a global economy,” an education task force, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, warned, according to Education Next.

No kidding.

We have raised a generation of self-centered ignoramuses who, instead of actually trying to learn something, breathlessly records every mundane activity (“I’m at Macy’s and bored”) that no one else bothers reading or gives a damn about.

Why? Because everyone else is all too busy recording his own mundane activities on social media that no one bothers reading — with grammar, spelling and punctuation errors galore.

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