Ontario University Takes ‘Appropriate Action’ Against Professor After Emailing Students Online

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Ontario University Takes 'Appropriate Action' Against Professor After Emailing Students Online


TORONTO – Canada’s second-largest university has taken “appropriate action” after an insensitive email exchange, allegedly sent by an instructor to a student taking a distance course in Myanmar, was circulated widely online.
In the exchange posted to Reddit and Twitter, an anonymous York University student asks math professor Emanoil Theodorescu if he can delay writing an upcoming exam due to ongoing political violence in the country. explaining that “nearly 200 demonstrators were shot” and that “the regime has decided to cut all communications by tomorrow. ”

In response, Theodorescu reportedly wrote: “Your remarks… made me wonder how you understand reality. People don’t get shot just for protesting, but for much deeper reasons. ”

After refusing to postpone the exam, the professor accepts that the final exam counts more in the student’s overall mark. According to screenshots uploaded to social media, Theodorescu ends the exchange by saying, “Even the internet went down with COVID-19?”

York University did not immediately confirm the authenticity of the screenshots, but said in a statement that the math professor’s comments did not reflect the values ​​of “respect, fairness, diversity and inclusion” of the school.

“Although matters relating to the employment are confidential, we can confirm that appropriate actions were taken immediately after becoming aware of the exchange and that ‘alternative arrangements’ for the course have been made,” it reads. in the statement released on Friday.

York says the faculty was able to make direct contact with the student in Myanmar and assure him that the necessary accommodations would be made. However, it is not known what these arrangements are.

The Myanmar student declined to comment when contacted by CTV News, citing security concerns.

Myanmar’s military seized power in a February 1 coup, arresting President Win Myint and other senior government officials in a raid in response to alleged electoral fraud. The protests against the coup have been remarkably persistent and have remained largely peaceful, despite restrictions on internet access, the imposition of martial law in some places and an extremely violent police response.

More than 200 people have been killed since the February 1 takeover, according to reports.

Emily Lashkia, a freshman who received her classmate’s screenshots and uploaded them, called the exchange “crazy” and said she did it to get a serious response from the university.

“Obviously you could say they don’t represent your point of view, but the point is, you employ them,” she told CTV News. “He’s one of the faces of York University.”

Lashkia notes that she doesn’t want Theodorescu fired, but hopes he apologizes to his friend.

“Words have consequences, actions have consequences. I hope he’s thinking, ”Lashkia said.

“Even until this morning, the professor himself has not apologized.

CTV News reached out to Theodorescu for comment, but received no response prior to publication.

– With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

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