Harvard Students Walk Out of Professor’s Class After Accusations of Sexual Harassment

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More than 100 students at Harvard University staged a walkout from professor John Comaroff’s class after he was accused of forcibly kissing and groping three graduate students in a lawsuit.

“We don’t want to be taught by someone who has still not been held accountable for or made amends for their sexual misconduct,” one student proclaimed before the walkout, which was caught on video and posted to social media.

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“John Comaroff spent his career harassing, silencing, and retaliating against students,” the student added. “He does not belong at Harvard. If you agree, please join us in waking out of this classroom, because enough is enough.”

After that, the majority of Comaroff’s classroom appeared to walk out of the room, while repeatedly chanting, “Justice for survivors.”

More than 100 students ended up walking out of the classroom, according to a report by the university’s student newspaper, the Harvard Crimson.

Professor Comaroff, who was accused in a lawsuit of engaging in physical and verbal sexual harassment, including unwanted kissing and groping, was placed on unpaid leave in January 2022 and returned to teaching at Harvard in the fall.

Last year, three graduate students filed a lawsuit against Harvard, claiming the Ivy League university ignored years of sexual harassment and retaliation by Comaroff, the Crimson reported.

The lawsuit alleges that Harvard mishandled Title IX complaints and allowed the professor to intimidate students who threatened to report him, including the three plaintiffs.

Harvard responded by standing by Comaroff and denying the allegations made against him:

Harvard University disputes the allegations of the lawsuit brought by Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, which are in no way a fair or accurate representation of the thoughtful steps taken by the University in response to concerns that were brought forward, the thorough reviews conducted, and the results of those reviews.

In June, Comaroff faced new allegations of sexual harassment after the lawsuit was amended, the Crimson reported. The allegations included unwanted touching, kissing, and sexual remarks during his three decades as a faculty member at the University of Chicago.

January 2022 was not the only time Comaroff was placed on leave.

In August 2020, the university placed the professor on paid administrative leave after the school’s student newspaper reported that students were in contact with the university’s Title IX Office regarding Comaroff’s behavior, the Crimson noted.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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