After Kayla Parker challenged her then-University of Tennessee-Knoxville professor on a test question about the effects of slavery on the Black family, Judy Morelock took to social media making threats against her. Morelock was fired in April and has been holding a grudge ever since. A chance encounter at Earth Fare between the two women ended with Morelock’s arrest.
Here’s What Happened
Parker was doing some shopping and chatting with one of the cashiers when Morelock grabbed her, swung her around, and screamed, ‘You evil bitch, you ruined my life!’ The UT senior said that Morelock’s behavior shocked everyone.
“There was complete silence in the store,” Parker said. “The cashier gasped, everyone else looked down and stayed silent. They watched her check her groceries out and then left. I yelled at her, ‘Don’t touch me ever again.”
The Question In-Question
Parker said that the whole dispute started over a test question to which she felt Morelock provided the wrong answer.
“Historical research on African-American families during slavery shows that:
A) Family ties weren’t important in African cultures where the slave ancestors originated consequently, family bonds were never strong among slaves.
B) Two-parent families were extremely rare during the slave period.
C) Black family bonds were destroyed by the abuses of slave owners, who regularly sold off family members to other slave owners.
D) Most slave families were headed by two parents.”
Long story short, I got my racist Professor fired mid semester after she tried to sabotage me. Then I wrote about it https://t.co/6m05Wm8MXp
— Kayla Parker (@kaybaeparker) June 6, 2017
Morelock said that the correct answer was D while Parker disagreed and chose answer C. After a very passionate debate on the issue, Morelock invited Parker to do some research of her own and defend her position.
Parker’s in-class presentation was successful and received a booming round of applause. While Morelock appeared to concede defeat and encouraged other students to follow Parker’s example, the ex-professor told a very different story on Facebook vowing to ruin Parker.
“After the semester is over and she’s no longer my student, I will post her name, her picture and her bio on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn,” Morelock wrote in a comment. “Count on it. For now, I’m bound by university rules that grant her more latitude in freedom of speech than I have. After she graduates and I retire, all bets are off.”
— Eric Peterson (@DiversityEric) October 4, 2017
When Parker presented all of her evidence of Morelock’s threats, retaliation, and ongoing harassment, the university fired Morelock. Coupled with the sting of that termination, seeing Parker in Earth Fare must have been motivation to move up the timeline on her plot to take down her former student.
But Morelock’s arrest and looming charges against her have likely made her re-think her actions. Morelock admitted to touching Parker and calling her evil in a letter she wrote to Parker’s mother. However, she adamantly denies being ‘aggressive or violent.’ Morelock is now facing up to 11 months in jail or a $2,500 fine for going after Parker. Perhaps she will just let it go this time.