A University of Texas-San Antonio professor has been suspended a second time for asking her students to be respectful by keeping their feet off of desks.
Anita Moss, senior lecturer of biology at UTSA, has been suspended one week into the spring semester over “a new concern regarding classroom management,” student newspaper The Paisano reported.
The Daily Wire previously reported that Moss was accused of racism and investigated after she called the police on a disruptive student. Another student had claimed Moss had called the police just because this other student “had her feet up.” The tweet went viral and Moss was investigated. That investigation found no racial motive for calling the police, and even the disciplined student said she didn’t believe race was a factor. The professor and student apologized to each other.
Moss was still removed from her class for the semester and now, just one week into resuming teaching, she has been removed again.
The College Fix obtained a statement from UTSA Vice President for Academic Affairs, Kimberly Epsy.
“A preliminary inquiry revealed that despite persistent and substantive intervention, there remain persistent concerns with Dr. Moss’ classroom management that warrant her relief from all instructional responsibilities at this time,” Epsy said.
UTSA spokesman Joe Izbrand told the Fix that the school couldn’t comment on the “ongoing investigation” into Moss.
The current investigation appears to be centered around Moss’ syllabus, which forbids students from “placing your legs or feet on the classroom furniture” and other behaviors, according to MySanAntonio.com.
The Fix also reports that Jenna Wells, a UTSA student, started a Change.org petition asking the university to bring Moss back to the classroom. The petition has already gained nearly 700 signatures at the time of this writing.
“The university ensured us that the events from last semester had been resolved, however they are resurfacing as she is being deemed unfit to lead and control her classroom,” Wells wrote on the petition. “We the students disagree and would like to see her reinstated to her position as our A&P 1 professor.”
A petition was also created in support of Moss after her last suspension by the university. That petition, started by student Priyanka Bhika, included testimonies in support of the professor.
“People are changing the narrative into her being a power-hungry, post-election racist when she is none of those things at all,” Bhika wrote.
Unless other information comes forward, it looks like Moss’ continued, reasonable demands that students behave and treat the classroom like a classroom and not their living room are viewed as unacceptable by the UTSA administration. The issue with Moss calling the police was that it appeared as though it was racially motivated based on the perspective of a biased student.
But she was cleared of racism. It appears the university’s main issue was the fact that she disciplined her students and asked them to be respectful. Does the university believe students should be able to act like slobs in class without repercussions? How many professors are now afraid to discipline their students for rude behavior for fear of administration reprisal?