LSU Professor Terminated After Her Use Of Foul Language And Bawdy Joke Found To Be Form Of Sexual Harassment

558b570d01b12.imageThere is an interesting academic controversy out of Louisiana State University where Professor Teresa Buchanan, who specializes in early childhood education and trains elementary school teachers, has been fired for creating what university administrators describe as a “hostile learning environment” that amounted to sexual harassment. However, the crux of the charges appears to be Buchanan’s use of foul language and bawdy jokes. The question is why (as recommended by the faculty committee) Buchanan was not simply reprimand or censured for such violations as opposed to fired.

Buchanan appears to have favored ““F*** no” to questions in class and using the crude slang term for vagina to suggest someone is a coward. She also made a a joke that the quality of sex gets worse the longer a relationship lasts.

Clearly some students took offense, but I have not seen such language issues result in termination. Indeed, it is not clear from the record why such language would be viewed as akin to sexual harassment. She is not first to use profanity in a classroom, something that occurs in high level classes with older students.

Buchanan says that most of the incident occurred during a divorce when she may have been a bit less guarded in her terminology. I think that the five faculty member committee found a compromise in sanctioning the language while also finding that Buchanan’s comments were not “systematically directed at any individual.” That factual finding makes the termination highly problematic in my view. Moreover, the committee noted that the chair of Buchanan’s department should have worked to resolve the issues over her behavior before the matter was simply turned over to the Human Resources Office for investigation and action.

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander rejected the faculty committee’s recommendations and focused entirely on the committee finding that the language could be viewed as sexual harassment. The Chancellor also cited an allegation that Buchanan had violated a student’s rights under the federal Americans With Disabilities Act. However that allegation was rejected as “not substantiated by testimony.” Alexander’s selective reading of the report and dismissal of key findings and recommendations is highly disturbing in my view for academic freedom and due process.

Source: Advocate

50 thoughts on “LSU Professor Terminated After Her Use Of Foul Language And Bawdy Joke Found To Be Form Of Sexual Harassment”

  1. Chancellor F. King Alexander said “The professor committed sexual harassment and violated the ADA laws”

    I suppose anyone that goes by the name “F. King” probably is especially sensitive to profanity.

  2. Thank God for Affirmative Action – a brilliant derivative of the 19th amendment.

  3. It took America 13 years to comprehend the egregious irrationality and unconstitutionality of the 18th amendment and repeal it with the 21st.

    As the nation approaches the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, how long will it take actual Americans to acknowledge and reverse the wrong-headed, incoherently and destructively “compassionate,” radically extremist, corrosive and deleterious effects of this antithetical and unconstitutional abomination on an otherwise strong and prosperous nation, and repeal it?

    Ben Franklin, “…a republic, if you can keep it.”

    Who took it?

    Where did it go?

  4. well, for starters, I am not a feminist… I think they are ruining it for real women.

    and if I recall correctly, Thomas was showing Hill Porn films after he asked her out… That could cross the line into
    Sexual harassment.

    BUT, I do agree in general, Feminists are trying to broaden the definition of sexual harassment
    as well as the definition of rape.. and this I do not agree with, which is why I don’t call myself a feminist. 😀

  5. TO jag in Seattle …Tell that to Anita Hill and the feminists who backed her.

  6. yeah, but Paul, they are twisting the meaning of Sexual Harassment.
    Telling some off color jokes and using colorful language is NOT sexual harassment.

  7. Or, as Squeeky laughingly reflected, “They just went ahead and fired the b!tch.”

    Nicely done Squeek!

  8. DBQ,
    This story hasn’t told us, unless I missed it, how effective she is in meeting the educational objectives. I used to teach in the Navy and it wasn’t uncommon to use colorful language to press a point home. The real world doesn’t fit neatly in a box that will protect these future teachers from all manner of behavior. They will need to be agile enough to meet all these challenges and still satisfy the required educational standards. I’m finishing up a teaching degree in the spring and I know first year teachers are typically unprepared for the true experience and they do not come back for year two.

    I believe she was effectively “managed out” of her job. She likely received warnings before and the feedback by students demonstrated she was not effective in meeting the standards required by the administrators.

    1. Olly – she received no warnings or counseling. And there is a difference if the complaints are about not meeting the course requirements and sexual harassment.

  9. WTF???

    Bawd Rate???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a college professor,
    Whose Chancellor went to redress her.
    When she answered with pluck,
    “Go take a flying f–k!”
    They just went ahead and fired the b!tch.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  10. My daughter has been in school here in Sweden since she was 8 years old.

    I have heard her teachers tell dirty jokes to the class, and use swear words in meetings with me.
    My daughter had many cuss words written on her folders…
    “Math Sh*t”
    F*** Science”
    etc.. etc…
    she has worn t-shirts with very colorful language.

    I found it amusing, and in NO WAY did I ever find it offensive.
    I found that it made them more relatable.
    The fact that they allow the students to communicate in the way they
    feel is appropriate to me means they want to foster more creativity.

    Of course in the USA everything is censored.
    In Europe, NOTHING is censored.

  11. @ Olly

    Then the teachers should be mugged periodically during their learning process because that is what they will be facing if they are teaching in some public schools?

    If I am going to school/college to learn something that will be my future occupation/career I sure don’t want to be distracted or have my time wasted by an incompetent teacher who is mugging it up in the classroom. I’m paying good money, or being saddled with huge debt, for this education. Teach me….biatch! The language isn’t necessarily the issue. To me it would be ….is she teaching what she is supposed to be teaching. IF not….then she needs to STFU and get on with her job….or else.

    Again…..if she had been warned about her unacceptable behaviour and continued anyway….then that would be grounds for termination.

  12. Olly
    1, July 2, 2015 at 11:48 am

    These are adult, prospective teachers, not elementary students. If they are going to be teaching in the public school system they had better be prepared to accept foul language because they will not be able to complain and get their students fired.

    ——————

    Amen to that!!!!

  13. I think some people are confused as to who she is teaching.

    ——-
    Professor Teresa Buchanan, who specializes in early childhood education and trains elementary school teachers,

  14. These are adult, prospective teachers, not elementary students. If they are going to be teaching in the public school system they had better be prepared to accept foul language because they will not be able to complain and get their students fired.

  15. I fail to see how her use of foul language could be considered sexual harassment. It wasn’t directed at anyone in particular. Unprofessional, yes; but S.H., not even close. They were either holding her to a higher standard because she wasn’t being “ladylike,” or it was just a ruse to get rid of her for some other reason. If she sues, it should come out in discovery whether the university has treated other instructors as harshly.

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