South Carolina teacher criticizes 'hurt feelings' of non-white students, they demand his removal

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Dozens of theater students at Coastal Carolina University are protested attending classes and are calling for a professor’s removal from the school over “racially insensitive” comments. 

“Non-white students’ names were written on a board and categorized by their specific race,” theater student Kelis Herriot said of the incident at the university, explaining the lack of context concerned other students when they saw the names on the board, according to WPDE. 

“It made us feel isolated from the department,” Herriott added. 

The situation unfolded after names appeared on a classroom board following a professor who said she was working with two Black students and discussing their frustrations. 

“I was working with two Black students after class was over and I was listening to their frustration and isolation,” said artist-in-resident Dr. Susan Finque. “One of the students jumped up and started writing names on the board. The stupid thing I did was we left that room and did not erase that board.”

Other students then came into the classroom and thought their peers were being singled out. 

An email chain was then formed about the incident, and students took issue with another professor, Dr. Robert Earnest of the theater department, and how he responded to the situation. 

“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Earnest said in the emails, which were examined by ABC15. “I’m just sad people get their feelings hurt so easily. And they are going into theatre?”

Students protested attending classes on Monday in response to the incident and are calling for him to be fired. 

“We are calling for his suspension and a case to be brought against him for removal from the institution,” Herriott said. 

Both Earnest and Finque have apologized, with Earnest saying he “had no idea it would blow up like this.”

“I just sent a letter of apology to the DEI committee. My comments were not directed at BIPOC students. Evidently, there was an issue of a list of students that was posted that caused some confusion,” he said.

“I then made an insensitive comment asking them to move on from it. I had no idea it would blow up like this.”

The school released a statement saying, “leadership of the University and of the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts are aware of the complaints that some of our theatre students have communicated. We are working to establish the most appropriate path for resolving their concerns.”

A school spokesperson told Fox News that there were no updates on the matter as of Tuesday . 

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