Racism best tackled in the open 1

May 30, 2003

The reason why lecturers should teach racist students is that the latter need more education, not less ("AUT: why should we teach racists?", THES , May 23). Such students may cause lecturers difficulties, and helpful advice from the AUT is welcome but not an endorsement of a refusal to teach.

If racist students are aggressive or violent, they must be dealt with by the university's disciplinary system, not summarily by individual staff. If they do not break the disciplinary code, they are entitled to be taught, with the lecturer taking any opportunity to confront their racist beliefs.

The AUT is opposed to discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. It cannot possibly approve discrimination by political belief, no matter how obnoxious this is - because it is only when beliefs are held obnoxious by others that this principle of tolerance amounts to more than pious words.

I am confident that when the AUT's advice appears it will conform to its long-standing principles, without any fudging.

Anthony Matthew
Leicester University

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework