A Northern Illinois University (NIU) professor recently told students they must wear masks while attending his classes, arguing that not wearing face masks indoors “is a manifestation of ableism and racism.”
“Refusing to mask indoors is a manifestation of ableism and racism, an exercise of individual privilege that tells the most vulnerable that their health and the health of their loved ones does not matter. Thus, masks are required here. They are NOT optional,” read a message from NIU physics professor Jahred Adelman, according to a photo taken of a projector screen in class.
The professor’s mask instruction was made public after a student reported the situation to the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) Campus Bias Tip Line. The YAP obtained a copy of Professor Adelman’s syllabus, stating, “Masks are required AT ALL times in PHYS 253.” According to the syllabus, if students do not comply, they will be removed from the class.
“Masks are required AT ALL times in PHYS 253. Here and in your labs. It is not pleasant, but it is for your health and safety, my health and safety, and the health and safety of your friends and colleagues. If you do not follow this requirement, you will be asked to leave,” Adelman spelled out in the syllabus.
Northern Illinois University is a public university in DeKalb County, Illinois, and lifted its mask requirements in February. However, on the university website, “faculty members can require masks be worn in their teaching spaces.” Professor Adelman currently serves as the director of graduate studies in the physics department and has been working at the college since 2014.
In an email to Fox News Digital, Adelman recently said that his rules on masks comply with school guidance and that he is continuing to work to “keep everyone a little safer while we learn physics.”
“The university allows professors to set mask policy in their classrooms and laboratories. I cannot and would not tell students what to do outside of my class, but if I can do my part to keep everyone a little safer while we learn physics. I will do so. Of particular concern to me is protecting those students of color and those with special health demands and needs, whom studies have shown are disproportionately impacted by the virus,” wrote Adelman.
University: Professor’s mask policies “reflect his personal opinion”
A representative for the school told YAF that Adelman’s views on maskless students “reflect his personal opinion.” The course syllabus provided to YAF also shows images of historical scientists Photoshopped with face coverings or maskless with captions including, “I don’t want to see your nose this semester unless we’re outdoors” and “Neck gaiters are not acceptable.”
According to YAF, a university student said Adelman is the only professor who teaches the required PHYS 253 NIU course. A spokesperson for the YAF, Kara Zupkus, said the organization’s tip line is a resource for “students facing intimidation and bullying tactics from professors like this one.”
She continued, “As our nation’s campuses become more polarized with left-wing activists parading as educators, it’s up to us to hold these leaders accountable for their viewpoint discrimination and ensure that conservative students are able to speak freely in the classroom.”
Recently, going mask-free while in indoor public spaces has been labeled ableist and racist by other professors, including a SUNY New Paltz professor, Jessica Nydia Pabon-Colon.
“Refusing to mask indoors is a manifestation of ableism and racism, an exercise of individual privilege that tells the most vulnerable that their health does not matter,” said Professor Pabon-Colon in a syllabus draft she posted on Twitter. She is a women’s gender and sexuality studies professor at the New York University.