Letter to the Editor: The Lessons of Niang Situation

By Mike Gibson, Senior, Computer Science


Many of the people who are writing letters to the editor in support of the teaching assistant who broke the university policy have chosen to ignore the real reasons that students are angry.

First, he asked a question which is specifically forbidden in a class at the U. Considering his own views on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the question was akin to asking who in the class was a racist bigot.

Teachers are not allowed to ask these sorts of questions for good reasons. Students have a legitimate fear that their academic success might be affected by the teacher’s knowledge of their religious affiliation, sexual preference, etc.

These issues should most definitely be discussed, but as issues, not as attacks on specific students.

Those who claim that the angered students don’t understand bigotry and hate should study the history of the LDS Church and its members. Until they escaped to Utah, many were subjected to bigotry, persecution and government extermination orders. Discrimination continues to this day outside of Utah.

Secondly, the students were not allowed to express their opinion. Discussion was shut down when Mr. Niang was unable to control the situation. This behavior proves that Mr. Niang is not suitable to be a TA and should be removed from class.

Mike Gibson, Senior, Computer Science