A university teacher in the U.S. state of Nevada has come under fire after he posted on social media that his classroom was not a “safe space” and he would report any students who were in the country illegally to authorities.
In a Facebook post Wednesday night, Matt Buch, a part-time math instructor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said if he found out one of his students was in the country illegally, he would be forced to report the person to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“No safe spaces in my classes,” Buch said, referring to students who are illegally in the country. “I would have to turn you into ICE.”
He later apologized, but the comments quickly spread on social media, with students and other professors at the university organizing a protest and calling on UNLV President Len Jessup to punish Buch for his words.
UNLV Professor Georgiann Davis wrote a letter to Zhijian Wu, chairman of the school’s math department, encouraging him to take action against Buch.
“I sincerely hope something is done, as I’m also hearing from many students (and colleagues) around campus how disturbed they are by his comments on social media,” she wrote.
Buch apologized for his comments late Thursday, telling UNLV’s student newspaper his comment was a “joke” and saying he would never “create a classroom of hate or intolerance.”
“I’m extremely sorry for the comments. I know how hurtful they are to many of you,” he said.