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Professor Suspended for Scholar Strike Participation

October 20, 2020
 
 

A second professor has been targeted for participating in last month’s Scholar Strike for racial justice. Wendy Leo Moore, associate professor of sociology at Texas A&M University in College Station, said she was suspended for two days without pay for her involvement in the action, after some in the community complained to the university. “I absolutely believe that this is a result of the fact that I was engaged in a social action in support of racial equity and Black Lives Matter,” Moore said Monday. “I believe that the people who complained about my participation only did so because they are trying to silence progressive voices for racial equity.” Texas has laws against public employee strikes, but Moore, a lawyer, said the Scholar Strike and teach-in was about racial justice, not a protest against A&M. The university declined comment on the matter, saying it has an appeals process for disciplinary actions, and that “all rules and processes are being followed.”

Among other free speech advocates, PEN America has spoken out in favor of Moore, calling Texas A&M’s actions chilling. Last month, Shad White, Mississippi’s state auditor, said he was pursuing an investigation into James Thomas, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Mississippi who participated in the strike. White also wrote to Chancellor Glenn Boyce, encouraging him not to pay Thomas for the two days of the strike and to pursue his termination.

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