Several design students are protesting against the hiring of designer John Galliano as a teacher on their campus in Parsons The New School for Design. They say the anti-Semitic comments made by John Galliano should ban him from the classroom. But school administrators think otherwise. The disgraced ex-head of the House Dior will soon be on a payroll in New York City.
Parsons The New School for Design hired him to teach student workshop, setting off a firestorm among Jewish students on campus. On Tuesday, the school’s Jewish student union started an online petition that, after Friday evening had more than 475 signatures. The petition accuses the university of valuing Galliano over them.
“This is obviously not allowing Jews to take the class at The New School. No one wants to take a class with a well-known anti-Semite,” student union president Jennifer Kaplan said. And while there is clear opposition to Galliano teaching on campus, there’s also sizeable support behind the university’s decision. “He’s just going to be a valuable asset to the faculty for all the fashion students,” student Keren Hasson said. “John Galliano apologized for what he says. He reached out. He repaired. He’s been studying and I live in a world where my Jewish values teach me to forgive,” said Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.
On Friday, the dean of Parsons emailed students a letter that reads in part: “I believe our students can learn from Mr. Galliano’s successes as well as his failures. … Having Mr. Galliano on our campus will be difficult. But what is difficult is often right.”
The design course taught by Galliano will be a three-day workshop, open to seniors in their Bachelor of Fine Arts Program. The workshop is scheduled for next semester.