A professor accused a Latina student of plagiarism and we're so furious for her
In this week’s “WTF excuse me while I scream into my pillow for an hour,” a professor from Suffolk University accused a Latina student of plagiarism because her paper was written well. Um, what?
The college senior, Tiffany Martínez, was humiliated in front of her class when the professor assumed she had cheated. She felt disrespected and invalidated (rightly so) and blogged about the experience on her WordPress page. “This morning, my professor handed me back a paper (a literature review) in front of my entire class and exclaimed, “this is not your language.” On the top of the page, they wrote in blue ink: “Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste.”
WOW. THIS IS NOT OKAY. EVER. How can a teacher, especially a college professor who should know better than to make claims without concrete evidence, say something like that to a student? This is racism, plain and simple and the teacher better be reprimanded. According to Buzzfeed News, an investigation has been launched.
To make matters worse, Martínez noticed on the second page of her paper, the professor circled the word “hence” and wrote “This is not your word,” with “not” underlined twice.
OK. For starters, “hence” is not a complicated word so like lol chill. Next, who the F owns that word, professor? Where do you think we are that students are restricted to a certain language to express themselves? Finally, BYE.
Martínez is a McNair Fellow and student scholar. She’s presented at national conferences in San Francisco, San Diego, and Miami. She’s been published in a peer-reviewed journal, is on the Dean’s list, and this past summer she supervised a “teen girls empowerment program and craft a thirty-page intensive research project funded by the federal government.” So basically, she is a bad-ass. Not that she should have to explain herself at all, but unfortunately, when you are Latinx, (or a person of color in general) having to constantly prove your worth in elite institutions is all too real.
Thankfully, Martínez is getting the support she deserves from people all over the internet, and hopefully, the professor will learn how to do their job properly.