Thursday, April 28, 2016

UK: Mature student, 61, awarded £750 compensation after claiming her university creative writing course was ‘sex obsessed'

She stood up against the "modern" way to teach English

A university has been ordered to pay £750 in compensation to a mature student who complained that her creative writing course was too 'sex obsessed'.

Mother-of-two Angie Marynicz, 61, from Pencader near Carmarthen in West Wales complained the way her creative writing course was being taught was 'very worrying' because of the focus on sex.

She had her initial complaint about the course's 'peculiar obsession with sex' rejected by the University of Wales Trinity St David - but it was partially upheld when she took the matter to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA).

Holiday cottage owner Mrs Marynicz complained that her male lecturer, quoting a female poet, told the class: 'All literature is about sex because sex is the most important thing in the world.'

She said head of cultural studies Dr Paul Wright was taking a poetry module on the BA Honours course when he quoted the poet.

She said: 'This is a quote from a woman named Blanche Bachelor, I believe, and I found it a very worrying statement to make in front of impressionable/vulnerable young adults when it is clearly not true.  'The majority of written word is not sexual but it seems that there is a most peculiar obsession with sex at Trinity St David.'

In another complaint about the course, delivered at the university's Lampeter campus, Mrs Marynicz wrote: 'One of the compulsory modules for the BA (Hons) Creative Writing course was Critical and Cultural Theory.

'The first lecture for that module was listening to the lecturer read aloud the Edgar Allen Poe short story The Black Cat, which is a graphic account of domestic abuse where the abuser puts an axe through his wife's head.

'As he finished reading the story, he giggled which I found very upsetting and offensive. I emailed him twice to tell him so, to which I received no reply.

'The second lecture in that module was the Freudian idea that Shakespeare's Hamlet had an Oedipus complex ie child sex abuse/incest. I was told by the Head of School, in no uncertain terms, that this was good art and they would carry on teaching it as such.'

Mrs Marynicz said she asked the Head of School whether she could just hand in written work and not attend lectures as she found the lecturer's 'ignorant and callous delivery of such sensitive topics' very distressing but was told she could not.

While the OIA rejected Mrs Marynicz's complaint about the content of the course itself on the grounds of academic freedom, it said the university 'should have considered whether it was reasonable to require Mrs Marynicz to attend the Critical and Cultural lectures in view of the content and delivery of the module which Mrs Marynicz had difficulties with.' It said the university should pay her £750 in compensation.

A university spokesman said: 'The university wishes to stress that the OIA found the student's complaint "not justified" in all of its main points, including those relating to course content and delivery.

'The complaint was deemed partly justified solely in relation to attendance for particular lectures and, in accordance with the recommendation of the OIA, a sum of £750 was paid'

Mrs Marynicz, who completed a foundation course before joining the second year of the creative writing course in September 2014, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

But her husband Ted, 62, said she was a ‘normal chick-lit loving person’ who included Marian Keyes among her favourite authors.

He said she had also been upset when a poem about a sex act was chosen for discussion from an anthology of sonnets and that she ‘came home in tears’ after the Poe lecture.

‘It wasn’t the story itself, it was the way she felt the lecturer delivered it,’ said Mr Marynicz, who added that his wife had given up the course.


Heartbroken father who 'told off' the bullies who made his children's lives hell for a YEAR after their school failed to intervene is to be PROSECUTED for 'intimidation'

A heartbroken father who confronted a group of bullies who broke his son's arm and repeatedly beat his daughter is to be prosecuted for 'intimidation'.

Christopher Cooper, 37, said his two youngest children Millie, 11, and Braiden, 9, were physically and mentally tormented by a group of children for a year.

He said he was forced to take action because neither the school or police would intervene to stop the attacks.  As such, he told the children himself in no uncertain terms to 'leave his kids alone.'

He has now been summoned by police to appear in court on a charge of intimidating a child.

Mr Cooper, a midwife, said: 'I am just bewildered by the whole thing. It is a crazy world we live in.'

He also claimed a year since he first tried to report the attacks on his children to police, his son and witness have not even been interviewed by police.

Mr Cooper and his wife Tracy said they had taken their children out of North Walney Primary School and they were now settled in a new school, although Braiden was 'still traumatised' by the ordeal.

They have also complained to Cumbria Council Local Education Authority about the conduct of the school.

Mr Cooper, from Barrow, posted a heartrending account of his children's year-long ordeal at the hands of the bullies in a Facebook post that was shared 211,855 times.

He said the attacks had been so savage his son's arm has been broken and his daughter, who was repeatedly kicked and punched in the ribs, is on the verge of developing an eating disorder.

On another occasion, he said, his son was held in a crucifix position with his arms stretched out to the side, so another child could punch him in the stomach.

His daughter Millie, who was thrown to the ground and attacked, also had drinks poured over her at a party whilst wearing her party dress in order to humiliate her.

In a separate incident, she removed her glasses to wipe away her tears and the bullies' allegedly told a younger child to stamp on them.

But when he asked the school to intervene - he claimed he was told nothing could be done as it was 'outside school grounds'.

Likewise, he said, Cumbria Police told him it was down to the school to address. 

Taking matters into his own hands, he admitted he told his daughter to stand up to her assailants.

When she refused, fearing repercussions, he told the children himself in no uncertain terms to 'leave his kids alone.'

Following that he was investigated by officers for confronting the bullies and he will now appear in court on May 26.

A spokesperson for Cumbria Police said she could confirm a man has been reported to court following a public order incident on March 3.  She said: 'This incident relates to a verbal altercation between an adult and a child, where threats were made.'

North Walney Primary, Nursery and Pre-School  - which was rated 'good' in its latest Ofsted report - said it fully accepted there have been a number of incidents involving the children over the last six months.

A spokesman added: 'Bullying is not acceptable at North Walney Primary, Nursery and Pre-School and we fully accept that there have been a number of incidents involving Mr Cooper's children over the last six months and recognise the distress they have caused.

'But in responding to those incidents the safety and welfare of the children has always been our first priority, and as such, we do not recognise or accept the description of the school's actions.

'All incidents have been properly investigated and appropriate actions taken, ranging from whole class talks, workshops from the local police officer and changes to the school routine, through to specific child focussed action plans to prevent any further incidents.

'At all times we have kept Mr Cooper involved and aware of what was being done to support his children. Our understanding to date was that while he was understandably angry that incidents had occurred, he was satisfied with the actions of the school and the plans put in place, including a detailed plan discussed at the start of March.  Whatever they did, it was not successful

'We want North Walney Primary School to be a place where all children thrive and achieve and we continue to work to that end.'

According to the school's latest Ofsted report, North Walney is a 'happy and welcoming school' and children are keen to learn and work well together'.


Liberal Loon Professor Explains Why She Was Fired

Remember Melissa Click? She was the nutty University of Missouri Media Studies professor(video above) who was fired after she confronted a student journalist and then asked for "muscle" to prevent him from exercising his First Amendment rights. This week, Click explained why she was fired:

    Infamous former University of Missouri professor Melissa Click suggested in a newspaper profile published Sunday that she was fired because of her race.

    “This is all about racial politics,” Click said in the Chronicle of Higher Educationarticle. “I’m a white lady. I’m an easy target.”

    Click was fired from her position as an assistant professor of communications in February, and her appeal of the decision was denied in March. She achieved national attention after video footage of her assaulting a student journalist went viral. Later, video emerged of her yelling profanities at a police officer.

    “I’m not a superhero,” Click told The Chronicle. “I wasn’t in charge. When it got out of control, I was the one held accountable.”

    Her incident with police in October, during a protest at the university’s homecoming parade, was caught on an officer’s body camera.

    “Am I going to be one of those people who stands and watches another brutal moment against black people, or am I going to step in and make sure they’re safe?” Click said she asked herself before stepping between the police officer and a protester.

This is about as nutty as it gets. These are the sort of critical thinking skills Missouri students paying up to 25,000 and 40,000 dollars a year were getting for their money.

And what was Click protecting black students from, presumably? Rigorous debate with fellow student journalists about the merits of their protest? It sounds like Click is insinuating that black students were incapable of  engaging with student journalists on their own. This is not only racist, it's an abdication of academic purpose. A journalism professor, of all people, should know that rigorous debate and exchange of ideas are essential parts of developing a well rounded intellect. That's what universities are for. The students at Missouri are lucky to have one less Melissa Click on staff.


No comments: