Bridgewater State Covers For Prof Whose Anti-Trump Rants Lit Up Social Media

Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2017/09/21/bridgewater-state-covers-for-prof-whose-anti-trump-rants-lit-up-social-media/

An English professor at a public Bay State university who recently made headlines after a student shared a series of his expletive-filled anti-Donald Trump social media posts will not be losing his position anytime soon, according to a statement released by Bridgewater State University.

“A member of our campus community made statements on his personal social media account that do not represent our institutional values of respect,” said the university’s statement, posted on Facebook — the same social media platform where Professor  Garrett Nichols declared “F— anyone who voted for Donald Trump” following last November’s election.

“The success of our students is paramount; we aspire to have all members of our campus community model civility for our students and for each other.”

Nichols’s posts drew attention after Bridgewater State student Alyssa Marie Hood shared them on Facebook.

I usually don’t post like this but I drew the last straw after seeing this,” Hood wrote. “One of my professors at Bridgewater … real nice!

“One second talking about being respectful to others in his classroom etiquette and in another second telling people they are not welcome because of their beliefs. Seems like someone who speaks of not singling out/demeaning others based on thoughts and beliefs sure can’t keep up with his own words. A classroom is somewhere politics should be left out of but it hasn’t been and it has been clear in our readings and some class discussion as well as publicly posting on Facebook! Way to go Bridgewater for creating an uncomfortable learning environment brought on by one of your own Professors!”

Hood also circulated a post that her professor, Nichols, wrote equating anyone who voted for Trump with the Ku Klux Klan:

Nichols also claimed as recently as last month that anyone who voted for Trump “has blood on their hands.”

Hood told the college-centric conservative news site Campus Reform that she elected to search her professor’s social media history after she noticed that his reading assignments poked fun at former Republican President George W. Bush and lauded former Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

“I felt my assignments would never be assessed fairly if I expressed my views in the classroom,” Hood, who backed Trump in the election, told the Brockton Enterprise in a later interview.

Hood also posted screenshots of a section of Nichols’s course syllabus focusing on classroom etiquette.

Nichols defended his posts in a statement he emailed to New England Cable News.

“The last people I want to feel hurt or unsafe are my students. My original post — however misguided — was motivated by a fierce sense of protection for my students, and my students’ well-being is and has always been my top priority,” he wrote.

According to NECN, Bridgewater State administrators are mulling whether to create a policy concerning faculty and social media use.

What they are apparently not reviewing, according to sources at the school, is whether to discipline Nichols.

Yet the fallout over the unearthing of Nichols’s posts is apparent on the Bridegwater State alumni’s Facebook page.

Julie Comeau, a graduate, wrote that she feels “embarrassed to hold a degree from BSU — something that I used to be proud of.”

“This response from President [Fred] Clark is as disgusting as Garrett Avila-Nichols[‘s] posts are and they both need to be fired.”

The alumni page also featured a discussion on the school’s history, with numerous grads chiming in and reflecting on their own experiences:

Nichols’s LinkedIn page states that he currently teaches rhetoric and writing at Bridgewater State. Nichols states that he is “currently writing a book on American rural culture and history and constructing a digital archive for rural LGBTQ histories in New England, which will serve as a pilot project for a larger national archive.”

Nichols also identified himself as an “advocate on behalf of LGBTQ communities on campus through co-facilitating the university’s first LGBTQ-focused residential learning community; co-facilitating mentor training for LGBTQ students and faculty; serving on the university’s Women’s and Gender Studies committee.”

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