ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Two petitions calling for Winthrop University to not fire an incoming professor is gaining traction.
The professor posted on her personal account saying teachers should not have anti-black pro-police posts. Students and alums are hoping the university keeps her on.
Incoming Winthrop University professor April Mustian called out kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers for posting anti-black pro-police rhetoric. She also warned those teachers she would send screenshots of the post to their administrators.
Winthrop’s post about this situation has almost 1000 comments. Most are from people for and against hiring the professor who started it all.
“I definitely think she should be at Winthrop,” Winthrop alumnus Ian Deas said.
Deas is just one of many Winthrop alum coming to Mustian’s defense. Alumni and current students are supporting her words.
“I think she does raise a very important point about who is teaching our students and how woefully unprepared they are to recognize and value the differences in their student body,” said Deas.
Not everyone agrees.
Commenters on Winthrop’s page call Mustian “racist, a garbage cop hater and dangerous.”
WBTV reached out to several people who shared these views. They either ignored our messages or did not want to go on camera.
“The issue that she’s speaking on is very polarizing across our county and even the world. So I’m not surprised at all,” says Deas.
Some comments go ask far as asking Mustian to be fired. One person started a hashtag #defundMustian.
“The irony is that folks who are saying that I think are unbeknownst to them speaking to the same feelings black and brown folks feel every day when dealing with law enforcement,” explains Deas.
Two petitions calling for Winthrop to keep Mustian have more than 2,500 signatures combined.
Winthrop responded by opening an investigation saying, “Following our usual practice, we are working with internal personnel and legal counsel to conduct an investigation, and we will act accordingly per the findings... Please know we are pursuing this matter diligently...”
WBTV reached out to Winthrop for comment on the post and the investigation, but was told the university does not comment on personnel matters.