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A teaching assistant at the University of Pennsylvania has sparked a debate online after tweeting about her strategy encouraging classroom participation of minority students.

Stephanie McKellop, a Ph.D. student and teaching assistant tweeted, “I will always call on my Black women students first. Other POC get second tier priority. WW come next. And, if I have to, white men.”

This is a strategy that she learned from a professor while an undergrad.

“In normal life, who has the easiest time speaking, most opportunities? Flip it,” McKellop wrote. “The classroom is the place YOU get to control social setting.”

Alex Jones, the infamous conspiracy hound weighed in on Friday calling this strategy a “discriminatory practice.” He encouraged his listeners to write to Penn president Amy Gutmann and ask her “if she supports open discrimination against white people in her classrooms.”

— Alyssa Milano concedes the ‘Me Too’ campaign was originally created by a black woman

Outrage after white TA says she always calls on “black women students first” news TA Explain 300x298 Outrage after white TA says she always calls on “black women students first” news TA Explains 300x293

On Reddit and Twitter the TA has been labeled a “racist.” “McKellogs is an Anti-White that should not be a teacher,” posted one Twitter user who had a Pepe the Frog image as their profile picture and who misspelled the woman’s name.

McKellop does have plenty of people in her corner though, like Kate Needham who graduated from Yale. She wrote a letter to Penn and in it, she said, “Please do not allow the Penn administration to sacrifice an already vulnerable graduate student in response to white nationalist Twitter rage.”

At this point, McKellop has not been barred from class.

“We are looking into the current matter involving a graduate student teaching assistant to ensure that our students were not subjected to discriminatory practices in the classroom and to ensure that all of our students feel heard and equally engaged,” according to the statement.

“Contrary to some reports, the graduate student has not been removed from the program and we have and will continue to respect and protect the graduate student’s right to due process.”

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