A professor at Stanford University in California was branded “Professor Karen” after she allegedly threatened to call the police about a black professor who disclosed her consulting fee of $5,000 an hour.
Jo Boaler, a white education professor at Stanford, was embroiled in a heated argument with Jelani Nelson of Berkeley University – one that erupted earlier this week and led to allegations of racism and harassment.
The saga first unfolded when Nelson retweeted an entry on Twitter on March 31, revealing that Boaler had been paid $5,000 an hour — $40,000 total — for advising math teachers in the Oxnard School District.
On Tuesday, Nelson – who is black – shared a screenshot of an email Boaler sent it after his tweet about alerting the police.
“As a courtesy to another faculty member, I wanted to let you know that yesterday’s sharing of private information about me on social media is now being investigated by police and attorneys,” Boaler wrote in the email to Nelson.
“I was shocked to see your involvement in spreading misinformation and harassing me online,” she added.
The person who posted the first tweet — a high school teacher in San Francisco — shared Boaler’s home address in a separate post, but later deleted it and apologized. Nelson said he did not post her home address on his Twitter account.
Nelson went on to compare Boaler’s threats to contact authorities to other white women who have called the police about black men in the past.
“A @Stanford professor just threatened me with the police. After BBQ Becky, Permit Patty, Golfcart Gail and all the memes, now we have Retweet Rachel,” he wrote.
“Public Notice: Don’t call the police about black people without reason. Black people disagreeing with you on Twitter is not a crime.”
After the public flurry, Boaler claimed to the San Francisco Chronicle that she didn’t threaten to go to the police — and later apologized when it was perceived as such.
“I wanted him to know that a teacher who shares my address had her posts sent to the police/lawyers as a courtesy because I thought it best that he didn’t get involved with her,” she told the outlet.
“He changed that to say I threatened him with police/lawyers. I was not.”
She added: “I’m really saddened by what happened on Twitter – and the number of people who believed his claim that I ‘called the police about a black guy’.
“I wrote to invite him to a professor-to-professor meeting and I am very sorry that my mention of the police was ever perceived as a threat. That was never my intention.”
Nelson said he was wrongly accused of harassing Boaler online because the screenshot he shared contained no private information – and instead came from a public record on a public website.
“The allegations came immediately after a sentence calling for police and lawyers, a sequence that in context could only be read as a threat against me,” he said.
“These false allegations are very serious and I do not take them lightly.”
After Nelson’s tweets about Boaler gained traction this week, the Stanford Review, a conservative campus publication, ran an article calling her “Professor Karen” and “woke.”
Nelson and Boaler’s very public dispute is rooted in a controversial debate about how to teach math to K-12 students across California.
Boaler is behind efforts to change the math curriculum in California to increase equity.
Opponents, including Nelson, want Algebra 1 to be included in the curriculum for eighth graders because they argue it will help struggling students when they reach high school.
“What must not be lost on this disturbing incident is the much larger problem of K-12 math education in this state: The California Math Framework (CMF) proposal is a misguided revision of state guidelines for math education that negatively affecting tens of millions of Californians, including my own two children,” Nelson said amid the ordeal.
“This pathway does not prepare students for quantitative four-year college degrees via a newly proposed math-teaching pathway that lacks essential content.”
https://nypost.com/2022/04/08/stanford-prof-calls-cops-on-berkeley-prof-who-exposed-her-5k-hour-consulting-fee/ The Stanford professor calls the police on the Berkeley professor, who disclosed her consulting fee of $5,000/hour