AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A professor at UMass Amherst has been removed for the remainder of the fall semester after students said she showed offensive videos in class.

Western Mass News has obtained a copy of one of the videos reportedly shown.

According to UMass officials, an accounting professor with Isenberg School of Management was removed before Thanksgiving after it was determined that videos shown in the class were "objectively offensive".

Students said the video, obtained by Western Mass News, was shown in a UMass Amherst accounting class in mid-November.

The video features a scene from the German language film downfall about Adolf Hitler, but the subtitles - apparently edited in by former UMass students - show a conversation about accounting principles.

Partway through the video, a joke caught students by surprise.

One subtitle read: "Don't you dare finish that sentence or I'll send you to a chamber, and it won't be the chamber of commerce. I can guarantee that."

"It was a little alarming.  I don’t think the teacher had any bad intentions when she was showing the video, but she definitely could’ve looked over it again," said Jack Terdoest.

Terdoest, a sophomore in Professor Catherine Lowry's Accounting 221 class, said the 2009 video was one of two shown as examples of how students could earn extra credit in the past through movie-making.

"They weren’t informative.  They were a good way for students to get extra points, maybe learn a little bit about the project themselves," Terdoest said.

[Reporter: She used this as an example as one that earned a lot of points of extra credit?]

"It really shouldn’t have been awarded as many points as it was," Terdoest noted.

Terdoest said the other video shown in class has since been removed from YouTube.

Western Mass News reached out to UMass officials, who said, in part:

"Senior lecturer Catherine Lowry will not teach Accounting 221 for the balance of the Fall semester.  The decision was made by the Isenberg School of Management after it concluded that objectively offensive material had been presented to students."

"I think a lot of students are worried right now.  UMass is supposed to be an inclusive community, but when we keep being shown these videos when it’s not that appropriate, you question it," Terdoest said.

For a student population that experienced swastikas drawn on-campus buildings back in October, Terdoest said tensions and sensitivity are high on-campus.

"That video wasn’t targeted towards me.  I understand people who were targeted towards in that video could feel that way," Terdoest explained.

School officials said Lowry was removed from the class before Thanksgiving and that they are currently reviewing the incident.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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(1) comment


Let the teacher teach. If she didn’t say or do anything racist ! A lot of history is racist . It needs to be taught and talked about ! Learn from the past

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