(NEW YORK) — Students attending a creative writing class at Michigan State last week got a lesson instead in partisan politics from their professor that the school says crossed its own red line when he alleged Republicans had “raped” the country.
As a result, Professor William Penn, a noted award-winning Native American author, won’t be teaching for a while with his classes reassigned to other instructors.
What got Penn in trouble was a video made by the conservative group Campus Reform, which looks out for alleged liberal bias displayed by professors in the classroom.
Someone videotaped Penn going off on Republicans being “cheap” and attempting to thwart voting rights of African-Americans in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Mitch Lyons, a member of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees, then tweeted a link to the video that said, “Check out this rant by a MSU professor. Do u think this has a place in our public university? #Ithinknot.”
Responding quickly, a school spokesperson said Penn met with Michigan State officials and “acknowledged that some of his comments were inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive and may have negatively affected the learning environment.”
Lyons said he was pleased with the outcome, adding that the students will enjoy the “free exchange of ideas and opinions…while Professor Penn’s status is further evaluated.”
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Alanna Petroff, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Julia Horowitz, CNN