Students and Faculty at UNC Rally Against Confederate Monument
“Several dozen teaching assistants at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill started a grade strike Friday”
The school is trying to build a structure to house the ‘Silent Sam’ statue indoors but that’s not good enough. Opponents just want it gone.
Inside Higher Ed reports:
UNC Students, Faculty Rally Against Confederate Monument
Several dozen teaching assistants at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill started a grade strike Friday, saying that they will withhold student grades as long as the university moves ahead with the idea of constructing a building to house the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam. The strike comes after classes have finished for the semester and students are preparing for final exams and normally would be soon receiving final grades. Many students and faculty members are also speaking out against the university’s plan for the monument, which they see as a reflection of white supremacy.
As of early Friday afternoon, the organizers said that they had nearly 80 teaching assistants on strike, and that they were holding back the grades of more than 2,000 students. The banner above was an early listing of the number of teaching assistants on strike and the number of students affected.
The organizers say that their move is an “action,” not a strike, because they are working, grading student papers and so forth, and they are simply not handing in grades.
Silent Sam was toppled by protesters in August (at right). Protesters used ropes to take down the statue, which was then removed by the university, setting off a debate on whether and how it would return to campus.
The action came after years of debate. As many other colleges and universities removed Confederate statues and symbols, UNC officials said that they lacked the power to remove the statue, with the campus deferring to the system, and the system board in July saying that any decision needed to come from a state agency and that the system had no plans to ask that agency to act.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Demonstrating against their statue is their right. Refusing to turn in their students’ grades is an unprofessional violation of their contract. They should be put on probation if their grades are late, and fired if they are not turned in within 24 hours of the due date.
This whole anti-Confederacy campaign is little different than the recent Islamists destruction of ancient middle eastern and Buddhist artifacts. In fact, it’s worse. While ethnic nationalism and Buddhism are still political movements that could challenge the political power of Islam, there is virtually no chance for a resurrection of the Confederacy, especially one based on slavery or racism. This is on par with the NAZIs burning books. It is destruction for destruction’s sake, all for short-term publicity. They are children having a tantrum.
If the school and local law enforcement had dealt with this as they should have originally- expelling students involved in property destruction and prosecuting them and the non-students, I would bet there would be far less continuation of these tantrums. Sadly, they essentially aided and abetted, giving into their demands.
Enabling is not a good thing.
It’s history. Learn from it.
Teaching assistants are in their post grad programs. Give them an hour to post the grades or kick them out of school. They are not the type of teachers that are needed in upper education.