On Campus

York investigates TA for Facebook comments

Tutorial assistant wrote 'My student’s papers are making me dumber'

York University is investigating a tutorial assistant who made disparaging comments about her student’s intelligence on Facebook. According to campus paper the Excalibur, the status update from sociology TA Bianca Baggiarini, read in part: “My student’s papers are making me dumber, so very stupid; by the minute. Please, make them, stop.” Posted on Feb. 22, the comments have since been taken down.

One of the students from Baggiarini’s tutorial told the paper that he was surprised. “It’s definitely not professional mixing work with Facebook, because that is public,” he said. Another student said that “If she assumes that there is an issue – I mean, clearly the TA assumed there was an issue by calling [the students] stupid – and the TA obviously has the opinion that her class is not understanding or really getting it, then I think the remedy should be ‘I’m here to help’ not ‘I’m going to post it on Facebook.”

Sociology chair, Nancy Mandell, whose department is investigating the matter, said that she was “disappointed.” The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents TAs at York, does not have a policy on social media, and would not comment on the specifics of the case.

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