A University of Colorado professor will return to campus after she was suspended for a “prostitution” skit in her “Deviance in U.S. Society” course. Professor Patricia Adler said he has been using the now-controversial classroom exercise for the past 25 years she’s been teaching the course.
In the skit, Adler’s teacher assistants dressed up as different kinds of prostitutes, such as “slave whores, crack whores, bar whores, streetwalkers, brothel workers and escort services,” to conduct mock interviews, according to local news reports. The skit is intended to show students social order as it relates to deviant behavior.
The university suspended Adler after learning of the skit, and she announced to students in December that she would not return to teach the course. The sociology department reviewed the situation — including looking into possible sexual-harassment infractions — and decided she could return as long as she received consent forms from students to present the skit in future classes. The consent form, the university believes, will allow students to opt out of the performance without risking hurting their grades.
But Adler says she’s “nervous” that the decision will impact her teaching methods: “I teach like it is my living room and I teach my students like they are my friends and I am very real. Am I going to be able to be like that?” she asked.