More than 50 faculty members at Evergreen State College are calling on the administration to punish a professor who refused to participate in a no-whites day on campus.
In a public letter released June 2, the faculty accused biology professor Bret Weinstein of endangering members of the Evergreen community by speaking out against student protesters who have taken over the Olympia, Washington, campus.
“Demonstrate accountability by pursuing a disciplinary investigation against Bret Weinstein according to guidelines in the Social Contract and Faculty Handbook,” the letter read. “Weinstein has endangered faculty, staff, and students, making them targets of white supremacist backlash by promulgating misinformation in public emails, on national television, in news outlets, and on social media.”
The letter comes after a tumultuous two weeks at Evergreen.
On May 23, Mr. Weinstein’s class was interrupted by more than 50 students who took issue with an email he wrote refusing to participate in a “Day of Absence,” in which white students, faculty and staff were asked to leave campus for a day.
“You may take this letter as a formal protest of this year’s structure, and you may assume I will be on campus during the Day of Absence,” Mr. Weinstein wrote in the email, adding that “On a college campus, one’s right to speak — or to be — must never be based on skin color.
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Video posted to social media showed the students shouting and cursing at Mr. Weinstein, accusing him of racism and calling for his resignation.
After they were confronted by campus police, the protesters barricaded themselves in the school library and issued demands of the administration.
Campus police advised Mr. Weinstein to teach off campus out of fear for his safety.
The school was later shut down for two days, when the administration said it received a threat from someone who said he was armed and on his way to campus.
Meanwhile, Washington state lawmakers have proposed legislation to revoke Evergreen’s $24 million in annual public funding. In a letter to the administration last week, Rep. Matt Manweller called Evergreen students an “embarrassment.”
“You are a taxpayer funded school and the taxpayers expect you to provide an environment of education not a dystopia of indoctrination,” Mr. Manweller wrote. “If your goal is to create a modern-day version of a reeducation camp, then do it on your own dime.”
Mr. Weinstein said the faculty and administration blamed him for what has happened at Evergreen.
Despite calling on the administration to punish Mr. Weinstein, the Evergreen faculty applauded university President George S. Bridges for promising not to take disciplinary measures against the students.
“We acknowledge students’ right to protest, and affirm President Bridges’ recent decision not to use the misguided language of the Student Conduct Code to punish the protesters,” the faculty wrote in their letter.
“We urge the administration not to lead with fear, or a desire to suppress students’ voices. We urge them to let the energy and clarity of those voices carry us forward.”