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Community upset after ECU Professor’s post on Juneteenth

A discriminatory social media post made by a professor at ECU is gaining traffic online.
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 10:38 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Update: The ECU Professor at the center of a social media post that drew outrage has now resigned from his position. As of July 1,2021 School of Social Work Professor Monte Miller no longer works at East Carolina University. This comes several weeks after Miller made a discriminatory post about Juneteenth. WITN has reached out to Miller for comment regarding his resignation.

Previous Story: A discriminatory social media post made by a professor at ECU is gaining traffic online.

A School of Social Work Professor at ECU, Monte Miller, made a post about Juneteenth, offending lots of people on social media as well as coworkers and students who are in the department.

One professor who works in the same department as Miller, told WITN that they are disgusted with this post.

The picture below is a screen grab of the Facebook post. The offensive language has been blurred out.

An ECU professor made a post on Juneteenth, gaining lots of attention on social media.
An ECU professor made a post on Juneteenth, gaining lots of attention on social media.(WITN)

Liz Liles is a current graduate student in the School of Social Work and says when she saw the post, she was sickened.

Interim Director for the ECU School of Social Work, Joshua Lee emailed the department saying the post was “problematic” and that Lee spoke with Miller about the post and consulted with the Office of Equity and Diversity, but some students and faculty members say more should be done, saying ECU should take a stand on this.

Lee says in the email that faculty members have a right to express opinions but the department has zero tolerance for bringing hateful speech into classrooms and work spaces.

WITN reached out to Monte Miller for a comment on what he says was a problematic post which has since been deleted but added:

“There’s been a lot of attention given to my Facebook page lately. I’m not going to repeat the problematic post that appeared on my page.

What I can do is to state that as a social work educator I have never discriminated in any way towards any group of people. This includes diverse groups in terms of race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs and other qualities that make people different and enrich society. I’m still trying to figure out what happened but regardless of that I will not simply stand still and take the personal and professional attacks. I stand on my teaching and practice records.”

Monte Miller, School of Social Work Professor

WITN also reached out to ECU to comment on the post made.

ECU said:

“If a complaint regarding a social media post shows a matter of discrimination, university policies apply, and that incident would be referred to the Office of Equity and Diversity for initial review.”

“As a public university, we are committed to upholding First Amendment rights. As a constituent institution of the UNC System, ECU’s policies are aligned with the UNC System Policy on Free Speech and Free Expression within the University of North Carolina System (1300.8).”

East Carolina University

ECU also said in addition to this alignment with the UNC System Policy on Free Speech and Free Expression, the University has a Freedom of Expression Regulation which can be found here.

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