Author Topic: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student  (Read 661 times)

clean

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UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« on: August 28, 2021, 11:43:49 AM »
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/88-year-old-professor-resigns-mid-class-when-student-refuses-to-wear-mask/ar-AANPzqt?li=BBnb7Kz

On August 24, 88-year-old Irwin Bernstein, a UGA retiree-rehire psychology professor, was teaching his second class of the semester. During his lesson, an unnamed female student walked into the 25-person classroom without a mask. The student was given a disposable mask but refused to put it on properly, stating that she "couldn't breathe" and "had a really hard time breathing," according to reports from the university's student newspaper, The Red & Black.

Bernstein was informed by the head of the psychology department that he could not enforce a mask mandate [or vaccines] upon his students, but he can encourage them to wear masks according to the policies of the University System of Georgia.

"At that point, I said that whereas I had risked my life to defend my country while in the Air Force, I was not willing to risk my life to teach a class with an unmasked student during this pandemic," Bernstein said in an email to The Red & Black. "I then resigned my retiree-rehire position."

"Resignation was an all or none decision," Bernstein continued. "I felt some relief as I had been getting more concerned as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in recent weeks."



GOOD FOR HIM!

I hope to make it to 88, but I doubt that I will be teaching classes then.  Certainly at 88, I hope that IF I did still teach, it would be because of the love of the discipline, the student interaction, or some other Maslow Self Actualization thinking.  And as such, I would hope that I would also be able to just walk away if the university was not supportive of my health, and the students too inconsiderate to think of anyone else but themselves.

"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader

Parasaurolophus

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2021, 12:04:25 PM »
Yes, good for him!

I think we need more of this, at least in some states. Strikes or (where strikes are illegal) civil disobedience--especially by the tenured--is probably the only thing that will work to make working conditions safer in those states.

I have one friend who just got tenure and is resigning over covid stuff. They'll be taking up a cool job at a non-profit.
I know it's a genus.

alto_stratus

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2021, 12:09:31 PM »
I can't imagine a semester with mass resignations, constant quarantines and illness or worse - yet it seems like we're walking into one. A lot of really good people have left over the last year, burnt out and tired of the abusive treatment.

clean

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2021, 12:26:01 PM »
Many of us just are not in a position to leave.  I hope to be soon, but I dont qualify for health care in retirement for a few more years, so I am trapped here until then! 

But I hope that by 88 Im not 'working for money'.

Once I have health care, assuming that my retirement portfolio holds up, I will join the crowd of those working 'Day to Day', not even 'semester to semester'
"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader

Hegemony

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2021, 12:56:37 AM »
If I have to do this, I'm going to wait until the middle of the semester, when it's more inconvenient for everyone. By "everyone" I mean our administration who refuses to countenance sensible mandates, the head of department who refuses to oppose the administration, and the students refusing to behave as instructed in class. Our administration apparently doesn't know or believe that I am not the only instructor contemplating drastic measures because they will not take sensible ones. Fortunately we have a union, who is pushing hard, so my drastic actions may stay theoretical. We'll see.

mahagonny

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2021, 04:44:45 AM »
He was planning to do this all along. Self dramatizing old fool. He didn't need the money. It wouldn't take much to get the typical long-in-the-tooth adjunct who's already got a pension from the tenure track to quit. He's striking a blow for no one. Good riddance.

ETA: A simple conflict of interests is not a showdown over moral principles. Was the student asked to sit in the extreme rear of the classroom? It doesn't say. Sounds like she thought when you say 'I can't breathe' people should listen. Hmm. She probably has asthma.

"Even though Bernstein retired from UGA in 2011, he's continued to teach as a part-time retiree-rehire for many years and was asked by his former psychology department to return this year to teach two courses during the 2021-2022 semester. Bernstein has resigned from both classes."

Even though he had a problem in only one. And he hasn't resigned. He's breached his contract. (SMH...how the liberal media loves the tenured.)
Yes, good for him!

I think we need more of this, at least in some states. Strikes or (where strikes are illegal) civil disobedience--especially by the tenured--is probably the only thing that will work to make working conditions safer in those states.

I have one friend who just got tenure and is resigning over covid stuff. They'll be taking up a cool job at a non-profit.

Something that would make college instructors safer would be eradicating the tenure system, starting over, and creating positions with equitable pay, so that people don't need to continue teaching when they are old and frail.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 05:41:51 AM by mahagonny »
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mahagonny

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2021, 06:06:09 AM »
-more-

None of this ire is directed at any posters here. It's just frustration and yes a pinch of judgment from my perspective.

I hope everyone here is able to retire, or work, and be fulfilled, solvent & healthy as possible. Until we're dead that is.
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Parasaurolophus

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2021, 06:34:50 AM »
I have asthma. Masks aren't a problem, even during an attack. That's because asthma is an exhalation, not an inhalation, problem.
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mahagonny

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2021, 06:51:16 AM »
I have asthma. Masks aren't a problem, even during an attack. That's because asthma is an exhalation, not an inhalation, problem.

I have asthma too and if I were having a bad day of breathing the mask would definitely go, although I would stay home rather than defy rules. However, the young student was not violating rules so was within her rights.

ETA: The main reason I am agnostic for the most part on the masks/no masks hoopla is I see it as usually boiling down to a conflict of interests, followed by the depressing attributing of evil motives to the other side. Even when I was an ardent union supporter I spoke out against the union accusing the administration of not caring about our safety. I didn't think it was a fair charge.

There are arguments for you wearing a mask, there are arguments for you not wearing one, there are arguments for everyone being required to wear one, and there are arguments for everyone not being required to wear one. The arguments one chooses usually just indicate how scared you are. There's no resolution to this debate coming. If I can manage to I'll skip it from now on.


If I have to do this, I'm going to wait until the middle of the semester, when it's more inconvenient for everyone. By "everyone" I mean our administration who refuses to countenance sensible mandates, the head of department who refuses to oppose the administration, and the students refusing to behave as instructed in class. Our administration apparently doesn't know or believe that I am not the only instructor contemplating drastic measures because they will not take sensible ones. Fortunately we have a union, who is pushing hard, so my drastic actions may stay theoretical. We'll see.

Wow, I guess being an adjunct, or for some other reason, it has never occurred to me that I could make public safety rules for my class that supercede the department-wide ones.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 07:36:37 AM by mahagonny »
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RatGuy

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2021, 07:57:01 AM »
The student was given a disposable mask but refused to put it on properly, stating that she "couldn't breathe" and "had a really hard time breathing," according to reports from the university's student newspaper, The Red & Black.

According to our Dean, there have been a number of fraternity members who have come to class with notes from doctors "excusing" the students from wearing masks in class due to medical reasons. We should not accept those excuses without accompanying accommodations from Disability Services. This is in line with our normal policy for medical excuses, btw. The subtext seems to be there's a market for such (perhaps fake) doctor's notes.

Aster

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2021, 10:49:37 AM »
Yes. Until a few days ago, there was this deplorable human being giving out exemption letters for $50 a pop.

Covid-19: Florida doctor 'offered parents mask exemption letters for students'

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-58346126

Parasaurolophus

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2021, 09:28:50 PM »
There are arguments for giving adjuncts even fewer crumbs, too. But some arguments are better than others.

FWIW $50 is a pretty standard rate for a doctor's note of any kind. But doctors hate writing them (for students), and consider them a waste of time (on economic as well as moral grounds). I wouldn't be surprised if these fake notes aren't quite as lucrative as they at first sound.
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dismalist

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2021, 09:34:37 PM »
There are arguments for giving adjuncts even fewer crumbs, too. But some arguments are better than others.

FWIW $50 is a pretty standard rate for a doctor's note of any kind. But doctors hate writing them (for students), and consider them a waste of time (on economic as well as moral grounds). I wouldn't be surprised if these fake notes aren't quite as lucrative as they at first sound.

They must be. Otherwise the price would be higher! :-)
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mahagonny

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2021, 09:00:43 AM »
There are arguments for giving adjuncts even fewer crumbs, too. But some arguments are better than others.


That's one reason I've always upheld my commitment to be available for the duration of the semester.

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clean

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Re: UGA professor retires mid class due to maskless student
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2021, 01:42:20 PM »
Several years ago, during summer school, a coworker was served with divorce papers. He asked if I could fill in for a day.  I did. Then he asked a second day... and on and on.  after about a week  of this (which is 20% of summer school!) he said he would not be back.  His students grumbled when I came in, and they were pretty upset when I told them he would not be back.  I took their grumbling to the chair and told him that I did not Volunteer for this and I dont need the crap, and HE had better talk to the students.

He went in. He listened.  He told him that he understood and made each and every one this offer (now more than 1/2 way through the term mind you).  "IF you are unhappy with the situation, I understand your concerns.  Tell me today, and I will authorize anyone of you that want to take this class again in the Spring and we will not charge you the tuition again". 
They were not exactly happy, but the grumbling decreased a lot.  Once they realized that the alternative was worse than just finishing, they settled down.

Unfortunately, it looks like UGA, and many of the rest of us are not led by such a leader.  They are not told "We are a Full Service University, if you do not want to wear a mask, we will offer this course ONLINE for you NEXT SEMESTER. 
And when the cries of ," I need this class to Graduate"  are yelled, then the calm reply, "Then the solution is to wear a mask, pass the course, and you will graduate"

Unfortunately, no one has the guts to stand up to them

though I was listening to AM radio on the way home from work on Wednesday night and someone was discussing the evils of having their child Forced to wear a mask, or be separated from their classmates.
Similarly, IF you dont want your child to wear a mask, We Understand!  We offer a fine Home Schooling Option!  I will send you the details on how to enroll him/her so that they can be educated free from requirements of masks, or shoes for that matter!!

Anyway, I wish the professor well.

"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader