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Professor, 88, Quits Over Maskless Student

School won't let teachers mandate masks
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2021 6:45 AM CDT
Professor Quits Mid-Class When Student Refuses Mask
Stock of person in mask   (Rattankun Thongbun / iStock / Getty Images)

(Newser) – A University of Georgia professor resigned from his position mid-class this month after one of his students refused to wear a mask. Per University of Georgia student paper The Red & Black, during Irwin Bernstein's second class of the semester the, 88-year-old retiree rehire asked an unnamed female student to wear a mask in his 25-student upper division psychology seminar. She was given one by a fellow student, but reportedly failed to cover her nose, saying she “couldn’t breathe." Per Newsweek, Bernstein then attempted to explain to the student that, at his advanced age and because he suffers from Type 2 diabetes, he could die from COVID-19.

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Minutes later, after Bernstein had taken attendance, the lecturer again asked the student to pull her mask over her nose. She reportedly did not respond. Knowing that two students in the class were absent due to COVID-19, Bernstein decided to quit on the spot rather than teach the unmasked student. "I had risked my life to defend my country while in the Air Force, I was not willing to risk my life to teach a class with an unmasked student during this Pandemic,” Bernstein said in an email to The Red & Black. Students in the class, which is required for all psychology students to graduate, were moved to a different seminar, per UGA administration. (Read more COVID-19 stories.)

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