An adjunct professor at the University of Delaware is under fire for posting on Facebook that Otto Warmbier, an American taken into custody in North Korea who later ended up in a coma and died, “got exactly what he deserved.”
Kathy Dettwyler, a 62-year-old professor in the anthropology department, wrote in the now-removed Facebook post that the 22-year-old was “typical of a mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males who come into my classes.”
“These are the same kids who cry about their grades because they didn’t think they’d really have to read and study the material to get a good grade,” Dettwyler wrote. “His parents ultimately are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted. Maybe in the US, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women. Not so much in North Korea. And of course, it’s Ottos’ parents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives.”
The University of Delaware released the following statement in response to the outcry over Dettwyler’s comments:
“The comments of Katherine Dettwyler do not reflect the values or position of the University of Delaware. We condemn any and all messages that endorse hatred and convey insensitivity toward a tragic event such as the one that Otto Warmbier and his family suffered.
“The University of Delaware values respect and civility and we are committed to global education and study abroad; therefore we find these comments particularly distressing and inconsistent with our values. Our sympathies are with the Warmbier family.”
@AnnCoulter, @PrisonPlanet: The comments of Katherine Dettwyler do not reflect the values or position of the University of Delaware. pic.twitter.com/ne7Ro0Ry9C
— Univ. of Delaware (@UDelaware) June 23, 2017
Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea in March 2016 after being accused of stealing a propaganda banner from a hotel hallway. Warmbier was returned to the U.S. earlier this month after 17 months in custody, but was almost comatose, in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness” and later died just days later.
Dettwyler did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a comment on the National Review website, she attempted to explain her Facebook post, noting that she loved the “hard-working, sincere, non-arrogant college students” who attended her classes.
“If you knew some of these kids, you’d be appalled,” Dettwyler wrote. “They think nothing of raping drunk girls at frat parties and snorting cocaine, cheating on exams, and threatening professors with physical violence.”
It’s unclear if the University of Delaware plans to take any disciplinary action against Dettwyler.
“We are not able to comment on the specifics of her employment,” university spokesman Andrea Boyle told the New Journal. “Personnel matters are confidential.”
The University of Delaware’s Facebook page has been flooded with comments calling for Dettwyler to be fired.