A Teaching Assistant at the University of Pennsylvania named Stephanie McKellop is under fire for saying she calls on students according to a very specific racial and gender pecking order.

The story came to our attention through this tweet:


It didn’t seem believable at first glance, but it’s real.

Rob Shimshock reports at the Daily Caller:

Ivy League Teaching Assistant Says She Calls On Black Women First, White Men Last

An Ivy League teaching assistant tweeted Monday that she calls on black female students first and white male students last.

“I will always call on my black women students first. Other POC [people of color] get second tier priority. WW [White women] come next. And, if I have to, white men,” University of Pennsylvania teaching assistant Stephanie McKellop said in a tweet from an account linked to her name that has now been protected.

McKellop said that an “amazing” professor taught her that policy during her undergraduate career.

“In normal life, who has the easiest time speaking, most opportunities? Flip it,” she said in another tweet.

“The classroom is the place YOU get to control social setting,” the TA continued. “Prioritize and encourage voices who are talked over most often.”

McKellop is a marriage and family historian “with interests intersecting in areas of gender, sexuality, the body, and race.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education has more:

A graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania said administrators pulled them from the classroom over the use of a teaching technique, according to a set of messages on Twitter.

Stephanie McKellop, who uses they/them pronouns, wrote in a series of posts that are set to private that the university was going to condemn McKellop for using progressive stacking, a method aimed at offering marginalized students a greater chance at speaking in the classroom. McKellop, who is in the department of history, accused the university of caving in to the pressure of outside agitators.

“Hi Friends, the University of Pennsylvania is issuing a press release condemning me and my teaching practices. It comes out tomorrow,” McKellop wrote in one of the messages. “Because this involves calling on Black students more readily than white men, the white nationalists and Nazis were very upset.”

Professor Jacobson wrote about “progressive stacking” several years ago in a post about the practice in the Occupy Wall Street Protests:

The most interesting thing about the progressive stack is not that it is racist or sexist, or that it is a caricature of racial and feminist critical thinking.

What is most interesting is that the progressive stack is an acknowledgement that women and “people of color” at the protests are not able to stand up on their own to the dominant progressive white males in their midst. Only through the distinctly non-anarchist structure of a progressive stack are the dominant progressive white males held in check.

Colleen Flaherty of Inside Higher Ed reports that McKellop may be dropped by her program:

A Pedagogy Questioned

Anyone who’s ever taught a class knows some students say more than others. And most professors eventually develop some way of encouraging quieter students to contribute. In one more formal discussion-management technique, called progressive stacking, professors call on students who may be — for a variety of reasons — less likely to have their say. While every student is different, the reasons typically reflect the implicit biases observed outside the classroom, such as those related to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability status. So, according to progressive stacking, a professor would call on a black or Latina woman before a white man, for example.

There’s the rub, at least in one class at the University of Pennsylvania. Stephanie McKellop, a graduate teaching assistant in history there, says she is under attack by fringe-right groups for using progressive stacking in her classes and then tweeting about it. Worse, she says, the university is cowing to such groups instead of supporting her. She’s claimed on social media that her classes were canceled this week and she may be asked to leave her program.

So she sees students for nothing but their race, but it’s “fringe right” groups who are to blame for her woes. She’s the victim here, not her students. That’s the left for you.

Featured image via Twitter.


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