Police to guard FGCU ‘White Racism’ course

The controversial “White Racism” class at Florida Gulf Coast University is set to begin Tuesday morning.

The brand new course has sparked controversy since it was first announced back in November. People from coast-to-coast have reacted to professor Dr. Ted Thornhill’s brand new course.

“Individuals started posting on the comment section and on social media, all types of vile statements,” Thornhill said. “Wishing ill will toward me and my family, referring to me with racial epithets.”

But despite all the backlash, the class will be in session for the first time Tuesday and Thornhill says he’s not backing down.

MORE: FGCU’s ‘White Racism’ course sparks controversy

“The course needs to be taught, and so, that’s what’s going to happen,” Thornhill said. “It’s a legitimate course.”

Yet, students still believe the course title should be changed.

“I think they should change the name,” said FGCU freshman Sabrina Lynch. “Like, if you go out with the headline ‘white racism’ or like, ‘white supremacy,’ immediately everyone is going to be like, ‘oh my god, we need to stop this.'”

Thornhill says FGCU plans to have uniformed police officers outside the classroom as a precaution.

“I, along with others, thought it was a prudent decision given the nature of some of the things that were said online and directed toward me, as well as a couple of students who were enrolled in the course expressed concern about issues of safety and security,” Thornhill said.

Some students agree with the extra security based off of the attention the course has been receiving.

“I think it’s necessary considering the name they chose and the response they’re getting,” Lynch said. “I think it’s a good precaution. If they chose a different name, maybe they wouldn’t need the police. But, you chose that name, now you gotta take that route.”

Despite the extra security and the negative response to the “White Racism” course, some student’s still believe this course is necessary for FGCU because of prior incidents that happened on campus.

“I think it’s important we talk about these issues, especially because we’ve had these issues on campus,” said FGCU senior Brittani Anderson. “I think the name is a little controversial, but take the class and see what it’s about before you judge it.”

“White Racism” begins at 9 a.m., and students are able to register for the wait list.

Reporter:Oliver Redsten
Writer:Emily Ford
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