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May 9, 2018

#TimesUp at Manhattan's SVA, Institution Removes Teachers Following Complaints

NEW YORK—The #MeToo movement at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan has led to the removal of two professors, Colin Moynihan of the New York Times reports. After several students in the college’s film and animation department made complaints to the school’s Title IX office, which handles harassment and misconduct cases, and called out alleged abusers on social media, professor Roy Frumkes was suspended—the school is in the process of terminating his employment—and instructor Robert Haufrecht, who was suspended in March, will not have his contract renewed.

Ella Laytham, a former student, told the New York Times, “There’s a whole culture in SVA film of dismissing inappropriate male behavior.” While a number of students have been frustrated by the school’s lack of response to their concerns about inappropriate behavior by professors in the past, SVA’s actions in recent months suggest that their allegations will not be ignored and that improper conduct will not be tolerated.

“The College is firmly committed to the rights of all members of its community,” Joyce Kaye, a spokeswoman, wrote in an email. “SVA responds to sexual misconduct complaints swiftly, investigates them thoroughly, and resolves them in accordance with local, state, and federal laws.”

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