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Petition alleges IU professor verbally abused McDonald’s cashier with disability



A petition submitted Monday to the IU Board of Trustees is asking for an investigation into an IU professor after allegations of verbal abuse against a McDonald's cashier with a mental disability. 

The incident was detailed in a Facebook post by another McDonald’s customer, who claimed the woman identified herself as an IU professor. The professor allegedly called the cashier a derogatory term and suggested he work in the kitchen. 

Video footage included with the post showed a physical altercation between the customer who posted on Facebook and a woman she claimed was the professor. 

“Indiana University is aware of the off-campus incident involving an IU employee and the associated social media response,” IU spokesperson Amanda Roach said in a statement. “University leaders have heard from individuals engaged in or concerned about the matter and are taking steps to learn more.”

While the professor declined to an on-the-record interview, she said in an email to the Indiana Daily Student she only had the best interest of the McDonald’s cashier in mind. 

The IU Neurodiversity Coalition, a group of IU students, faculty and staff that advocates for neurodiverse students, created the investigation petition. 

The coalition asked the university to investigate the incident, release a statement on the value neurodiverse people bring to the IU community, immediately remove the professor from all interactions with IU students and insure the professor will not use hate speech in future interactions with students.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition had 1,136 signatures, according to the IU Neurodiversity Coalition Facebook page. The McDonald’s customer’s original Facebook post has been shared over 1,500 times.

Editor’s note: Since IU has not released the results of its investigation at the time of publication, the Indiana Daily Student has decided not to include the professor’s name in this story.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the person who posted the incident on Facebook as a McDonald's employee. She was in fact a customer. The IDS regrets this error.

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