St. Mary's Prof Faces Uncertain Future After Having Student Sing 'Old Man River'

06/27/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Huffington Post

A music professor at St. Mary's College in California has been punished after using the racially charged song "Old Man River" in class.

An African American student complained after Lebherz had a student sing the original version of the show tune "Old Man River," which refers to African Americans using a racial epithet, last month.

Lebherz, whose brother, Philip, is a college trustee, apologized for his "insensitivity" in a letter to the student.

According to the Contra Costa Times, the incident came at a sensitive time for the college, which has actively been trying to improve race relations after being scrutinized in 2008 for its lack of diversity.

Lebherz will undergo diversity training and his future at the school is being discussed, provost Beth Dobkin told the Times.

The student who filed the complaint, E.J. Youngblood, told the Times that he wishes Lebherz to be fired, but doesn't think that's going to happen "because his brother is on the board of trustees."

What do you think? Should Lebherz be axed? Or is the student overreacting?

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