Indiana Prof Keeps Job Despite Student Protest Over Blackface Photo

Reuters, Murad Sezer, 07/04/18

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A professor at Purdue University in Indiana will not be fired from her position, despite a student push to have her ousted over a Facebook photo depicting her and a friend in blackface costumes, according to Newsone.

Biology professor Lisa Stillman’s photo was posted nearly two years ago, but a Twitter user under the name “Jane Doe” resurfaced the picture, calling for Stillman to be removed from the university’s payroll.

Stillman and her friend were posing while dressed up for Halloween. The two painted their faces black, donned black wigs, and impersonated being pregnant.

A petition was started seven days ago, saying Stillman is “not equipped to work with students of all backgrounds” due to her “offensive blackface costume.” (RELATED: Students Accused Of Blackface After Posting Snapchat In Beauty Masks)

“We do not punish speech,” Purdue noted in its defense of Stillman, adding that her “personal social media post of an old photo was not harassment under Purdue policy,” The College Fix reports(RELATED: Oregon Professor Suspended For Wearing Blackface On Halloween)

The university also took into consideration that Stillman’s Facebook post was “off-campus speech” and that she was expressing herself as a private citizen, not a Purdue employee.