Wednesday, April 27, 2005

University bars Mexican student from class over poem

Matt Apuzzo:

Southern Connecticut State University barred a student from a poetry class after his professor said a poem he submitted contained veiled threats to sexually assault her and her 3-year-old daughter.

The student, Edward Bolles, said his poem entitled "Professor White," was meant to be a satirical piece about globalization. In it, a Mexican student named Juan has a sexual encounter with the daughter of his white professor.

Bolles' professor, Kelly Ritter, found the poem "disturbing," according to an April 8 campus police report, and said she believed the poem was a threat. University officials prohibited Bolles, who is Mexican, from attending his poetry class while he was investigated.

Bolles, a 36-year-old married father of two, said he and Ritter have had political disagreements in class. Bolles, a conservative, said he has disagreed with some of the liberal political themes in Ritter's poetry selections.

The same is true of the Bolles' poetic character, who pledges to "turn the tables" on his professor and has a tryst with her college-age daughter. While Bolles' acknowledges that Ritter inspired the poem, he said it was not a threat and said he did not know she had a daughter.

News and Blogosphere:

Conn. University Bars Student From Class Over Poem

Excerpt From The Poem 'Professor White'

Grad Student Banned From Poetry Class Over Poem

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