US professor demoted after telling students to speak English | Arab News

by learn a language journalist

DURHAM, N.C.: A Duke University professor has stepped down as a program head after telling students to speak only English in faculty buildings, the university said on Monday.
Megan Neely, assistant professor of biostatistics at the North Carolina university, sent an email to students on Friday saying she had received complaints from two faculty members about graduate students speaking Chinese “VERY LOUDLY” in student lounge and study areas.
“I encourage you to commit to using English 100 % of the time when you are in Hock or any other professional setting,” Neely said in the email to students, a copy of which was provided by the university.
Her email was distributed widely on social media.
Neely stepped down on Saturday as director of graduate studies for the university’s Master of Biostatistics Program but will continue her faculty teaching, Duke said in a statement.
Mary Klotman, dean of Duke University School of Medicine, apologized to students for Neely’s email and said the department would review its biostatistics program.
“There is absolutely no restriction or limitation on the language you use to converse and communicate with each other,” Klotman said in a letter on Saturday.
In her email, Neely said the two faculty members wanted to identify the students who had been speaking in Chinese so they could “remember them” if they ever interviewed for an internship or asked to work with them for a master’s project.
“They were disappointed that these students were not taking the opportunity to improve their English and were being so impolite as to have a conversation that not everyone on the floor could understand,” Neely said in the email.
“To international students, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep these unintended consequences in mind when you choose to speak in Chinese in the building,” she added.
Klotman said students’ career opportunities and recommendations would not be influenced by what language they chose to use outside the classroom.
Duke has about 175 undergraduates from China, out of a total 6,800, and 1,300 graduate and professional students from China across all schools and departments, out of a total of about 8,500, the university said.
“I deeply regret the hurt my email has caused. It was not my intention,” Neely said in a statement distributed by Duke.

LOS ANGELES: Michael Jackson’s family members said Monday that they are “furious” that two men who accuse him of sexually abusing them as boys have received renewed attention because of a new documentary about them.
The family released a statement denouncing “Leaving Neverland,” a documentary film featuring Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck that premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival and is set to air in the spring on HBO and the UK’s Channel 4.
“Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family — that is the Jackson way,” the statement said. “But we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on…. Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made.”
The family points out that Jackson was subjected to a thorough investigation which included a surprise raid of his home, the Neverland Ranch, but was still acquitted at his criminal trial in 2005, in a case involving another young man.
Robson testified at that trial, saying he had slept in Jackson’s room many times, but that Jackson had never molested him. Safechuck made similar statements to investigators as a boy. Jackson died in 2009.
Both men filed lawsuits in 2013 saying stress and trauma had forced them to face the truth and admit they were sexually abused. The suits have been thrown out on technical grounds but are under appeal.
The Jackson statement calls the men “perjurers” because of this reversal, saying the family is “furious” that media outlets without evidence have chosen “to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael.”
The film’s director Dan Reed has said he has no doubts about the men’s validity.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, which Robson and Safechuck have done on multiple occasions.
The family insists that truth and evidence are on their side.
“We are proud of what Michael Jackson stands for,” the statement said.

This content was originally published here.

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