Longtime professor retires on the spot after student refuses to wear mask correctly during class

  • 11 Sep - 17 Sep, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

A longtime professor chose his health over his career after a student reportedly refused to wear a mask correctly during one of his classes. Irwin Bernstein resigned from his position as a retire-rehire professor at the University of Georgia after an unnamed student walked into his class without a face mask. Bernstein told that he asked the student to grab a spare face mask from the advising office, but she was instead given one by a classmate. The 88-year-old professor then explained he had health conditions that made him especially vulnerable to Covid-19, such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Despite his requests, the student refused to wear the face mask properly – deciding to keep it under her nose – leading Bernstein to announce his retirement in front of the class. While the student claimed she had difficulty breathing with a face mask on, Bernstein – who has four asthmatic children – says he did not recognise "any sign of respiratory distress" in the student. Since the incident, Bernstein says he has been sent "profane" and "disturbing" e-mails from people who disagree with his actions, but the support he's received has been invaluable. Bernstein says he will now be spending most of his time at home, and has no plans to look for other work.