The Rutgers professor said she would certainly have stepped in, but this was an after-class Zoom session, during the professor’s virtual office hours. Three students attended the Zoom session, and now there’s a nationwide petition targeting the white, middle-aged woman who uttered the N-word while quoting a 1993 legal opinion.

The New York Times reports:

“At the height of a ‘racial reckoning,’ a responsible adult should know not to use a racial slur regardless of its use in a 1993 opinion,” states the petition, which has been signed by law school students and campus organizations across the country.

Recent faculty meetings — including one held the day after a police officer was convicted of killing George Floyd — have been marked by heated exchanges, participants said. A racial healing session that was organized by students was filled with raw emotion. The student who uttered the slur is distraught, professors said, and has enlisted the help of a lawyer known for her expertise in free speech and due process.

Any public use of a racial epithet can carry a risk of steep professional consequences.

The head of the journalism department at Central Michigan University was fired last year after using the same slur when quoting from a lawsuit. An Emory University law school professor was placed on administrative leave for more than a year after using the word in discussions with students about race.

So Jeffrey Toobin can get caught masturbating during a Zoom session and keep his job, but this student’s worried about expulsion?

Also, avoid the attorneys who have signed on to the petition targeting the student.

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