HR Strange But True!
May 08, 2008

A former professor at Dartmouth College has sent an email to students threatening to name some of them in a lawsuit accusing students of harassing her and discriminating against her in violation of federal law, according to several media reports.

In the email to students, the professor specifically cites Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.

The professor taught a writing class at Dartmouth College before leaving in March to teach at another university. She says that some of the students in her class at Dartmouth were so disrespectful and argumentative that their behavior amounted to harassment, the Concord Monitor (New Hampshire) reports. She alleges that the students harassed her because of her gender and ethnicity.

Apparently, the students challenged some of the philosophers and writers the professor was discussing in her Science, Technology, and Society class. The professor cited a specific incident in which some students applauded another student who disagreed with the professor over an ecofeminist theory about science and the marginalization of women, the newspaper reports.

"They were attacking thinkers that, even with my degrees, I would think twice about attacking," the professor tells the newspaper. "I'm wondering why I was subjected to that behavior. . . . It was just a little disturbing that you'd get a student who'd come up to you after getting a reading assignment and say, 'So I underlined this. This is X, Y and Z why this statement is false.' . . . It consistently kept happening."

The school's general counsel released a statement, saying that the claims lack merit.

"It has come to our attention that a former faculty member has e-mailed some undergraduates and faculty members mentioning the possibility of legal action," says Robert Donin, the college's general counsel. "We have determined that there is no basis for such action, and we have advised the students and faculty members of this."

Sources: Concord Monitor and Dartmouth Review

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