A professor’s mistake publicized on Twitter creates problems for all parties involved.
On Nov. 9, Liberty student Ian Parish posted a screenshot on Twitter showing an email sent from his professor containing a link to a porn website. Parish called out his professor in the tweet.
The tweet quickly blew up on social media as students began a flurry of sharing and commenting, ruining the reputation of the professor.
On Nov. 12, the professor resigned from his position.
Whether the pornographic link attached to the email was the professor’s mistake or a virus attack on his computer does not bother me as much as the students’ reactions to the situation.
I am appalled.
Instead of reacting in compassion or trying to say something constructive, dozens of students ran with the tweet, making jokes and mocking the professor.
I haven’t stopped laughing.
I LITERALLY CAN NOT STOP. https://t.co/IzXK3LFapC
— nBm (@msnicolemaria) November 9, 2018
Weird flex, professor, but ok https://t.co/gIZDsKT6IH
— Lily Armstrong (@armstrong_lily) November 9, 2018
wait… this isn’t the liberty way https://t.co/xToX0pflP7
— samantha 🌻 (@s_hutchersonn) November 9, 2018
Regardless of the moral implications of viewing pornography or making a mistake by sending it to your students, as a student body at a Christian university, we are called to a higher standard than making jokes about such a sad situation.
Even if the emailed link was from the professor’s computer, this should not be an opportunity for students to let loose on him.
If the professor is stuck in the sin of viewing pornography, students should react with compassion, not take cheap shots at a man who is evidently struggling.
Galatians 6:1 says “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
That is not how this went.
While the original tweet was deleted, the damage has still been done. Students had their chance to get in a laugh, and a professor has subsequently lost his job and reputation.
hey y’all, i made a tweet earlier this morning. the email i got from my prof was pretty wild, and i wanted to share what I and my fellow students in my section got.
however, out of respect for the University, i decided to take it down.
— ian parish (@itplol) November 9, 2018
I am aware this is not the stance of the whole student body at Liberty, and many of the members among our ranks would approach the situation with compassion.
But when those without tact stand up to mock and those with compassion stay silent, the result is damage that cannot be undone.