- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2016

One of the Florida Gators’ professors ordered her students to refrain from using a specific phrase: “Melting pot.”

An education watchdog has obtained course materials sent to students in Pamela Brekka’s Art Appreciation class at the University of Florida. Screenshots of instructions show the following all-caps warning to enrolled students: “DO NOT EVER USE THE PHRASE ‘MELTING POT’ IN THE CLASS. IN THIS CLASS WE CELEBRATE DIVERSITY, NOT SAMENESS.”

Campus Reform spoke to the professor and one of her students, who asked to remain anonymous.

Ms. Brekka told the watchdog that “melting pot” was prohibited because it “signals a Euro-White Colonial standard, point blank, period.”

“It’s the difference between a soup and a salad. … In the salad, the flavors remain distinct,” the professor said. “Your romaine lettuce retains its flavor, the tomatoes retain their flavor, and so on. They are all living happily in one bowl.”

The student who spoke to Campus Reform said he was pressured to “go with the biased system” because he said a friend was likely penalized for using the phrase.

Ms. Brekka told the watchdog that a “partial point” was taken off students’ scores in the past, but maintained that she did not have a “strict policy.”

“I welcome open debate in all my classes,” she said.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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