A professor at the University of Georgia resigned from his post in the middle of teaching a class last week after a student refused to put on a mask, The Red & Black reported.
88 year-old psychology professor Irwin Bernstein instructed a student to put on a mask at the beginning of his class. The student was given a disposable mask by a classmate, but she did not wear the mask over her nose, according to The Red & Black, When asked to put the mask over her nose, the student told Bernstein she “couldn’t breathe.” About 15 minutes later, he told the student to pull the mask up again. When the student did not respond, Bernstein announced his retirement and abruptly left the class.
“At that point I said that whereas I had risked my life to defend my country while in the Air Force, I was not willing to risk my life to teach a class with an unmasked student during this Pandemic,” Bernstein told The Red & Black via email. Bernstein explained that he suffers from Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and several age-related health concerns, and that he had told the student this. (RELATED: Georgia School Reverses Decision To Suspend Student Who Shared Pictures Of Classmates Without Masks)
A University of Georgia retiree-rehire professor resigned on Tuesday after one of his students refused to properly wear a mask in an upper division psychology seminar class held at the psychology building.https://t.co/sr0VDL44b8
— The Red & Black (@redandblack) August 27, 2021
The 25 students at the psychology seminar were forced to apply for another class section, according to the outlet.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed several Executive Orders prohibiting state agencies from mandating masks, and the University System of Georgia also disallows mask requirements in classrooms. However, the University of Georgia “strongly encourages” masks to be worn indoors.
Several instructors have already quit because of COVID concerns. A professor at Georgia College & State University resigned after a student refused to wear a mask in class. Two University of North Georgia lecturers resigned over the possibility of teaching “unmasked and unvaccinated students” in the upcoming semester.