A liberal sociology professor has found herself in the unemployment line and is being called a racist for a confrontation with a student.
Judy Morelock, who taught the University of Tennessee and reportedly is a Black Lives Matter supporter, took issue with a student’s answer on an exam about the impact of slavery on African-American families.
African-American student Kayla Parker challenged Morelock on one of the exam’s questions which prompted a heated debate that eventually ended up on Facebook.
The argument started over the exam question: “Historical research on African-American families during slavery shows that…”
There were four multiple choice answers to choose from, and Parker chose “C”: Black family bonds were destroyed by the abuses of slave owners, who regularly sold off family members to other slave owners.”
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Parker confronted her professor when her answer was marked incorrect. According to Morelock, “most families were headed by two parents,” during that time in history.
Parker explained her side of the story in “Student Voices” saying she found evidence to support the answer she had chosen and “respectfully” asked Morelock to explain why it had been marked wrong. The student said Morelock began to make a backhanded comment about her during class and challenged her to lecture the class on this issue.
Parker accepted the challenge, but the confrontation continued to escalate when friends and family backed her on social media. That’s when Morelock really got herself in trouble and chimed in to defend her position on the public forums.
“I’ve never seen this before,” Parker wrote. “I was shocked. 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.”
Morelock was removed from the classroom part way through the spring semester without comment from the university, Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
While Morelock didn’t mention Parker by name on her own Facebook posts, she did reportedly threaten to “out” the student once she graduated.
“She’s on LinkedIn trying to establish professional contacts,” Morelock posted on Facebook on March 24, Knox News reported.
“This will be fun!”
She went on to write: “After the semester is over and she’s no longer my student, I will post her name, her picture and her bio on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Count on it.
“For now, I’m bound by university rules that grant her more latitude in freedom of speech than I have. After she graduates and I retire, all bets are off.”
Parker also accused Morelock of retaliating with a meme showing a wrapped present captioned: “I’m sorry if I upset you. Please accept this complimentary (sex toy) and go f— yourself.”
Parker who self-describes as a “Black, fed up feminist” had plenty more to say about the incident.
“When white people refuse to use their privilege and voice to fight against a society that disproportionately victimizes people of color, they’re in fact contributing to a racist and unjust society,” she wrote in Student Voices.
Morelock defended herself in a Facebook message saying, “But I have to say this: For this woman to publicly call me a racist is outrageous and unconscionable, as promoting racial justice has been a large part of my life’s work.”
At least one other professor has defended Morelock, saying while she may be crass, she’s no racist.
“The fact that she uses rough language ought not to be used against her,” Donna Sherwood said. “That shouldn’t be brought into play. Had she called that girl racist names, I would be the first person on her page saying you’d better stop this stuff. She wasn’t doing that.”
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Morelock was eventually fired from her job for inappropriate conduct with a student on social media.
The termination came a few months before what was supposed to be Morelock’s final year teaching at UT, Knox News reported. The university is revamping its sociology program and Morelock’s position was on the chopping block.
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