Editor's Note: According to a report in Friday's Paducah Sun, Professor Wattier resigned his position. The story below is from the student newspaper at MSU. Thanks to Elizabeth and Nick for allowing us to reprint it.
Mark Wattier, professor of political science, has been suspended without pay and benefits for this semester after allegedly making discriminating remarks "on the basis of race" last semester to black student Arlene Johnson, freshman from Sikeston, Mo.
According to Johnson, she arrived to Wattier's POL 140 class three to five minutes early on Aug. 25 to find a film already playing. At the class' end, Johnson approached Wattier with a question about the syllabus. Another black student, DeVaunte Martin, freshman from Maryland Heights, Mo., also approached the professor, asking why the film had been started before class.
According to case documents, Wattier explained his class begins 10 minutes early when films are shown. However, his syllabus does not cite that information. Wattier then responded, according to the documents, "I expect it out of you guys anyway." When the students inquired further about this statement, he went on to say, "It is part of your heritage. The slaves never showed up on time to their owners and were lashed for it. I just don't have the right to do that."