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The case of the professor who must be escorted to the University of the Basque Country due to bullying from classmates: "I'm afraid they'll throw me down the stairs"


Iñaki Loroño presented documents and recordings of the threats he has received for months from other teachers for denouncing irregularities. The Rectorate offers you a transfer

Image of the Higher Technical School of Nautical and Naval Machinery of the UPV, in Portugalete (Bizkaia)Fernando Domingo-Aldama

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All the students of the Marine degree at the University of the Basque Country (UPV) have passed the subject Internal Combustion Engines II, including those who left most of their exam blank.

The Basque public university has decided to adopt this measure of grace to try to resolve an internal conflict that is seriously affecting one of its professors, the tenured doctor Iñaki Loroño, and has ended up involving the students of the Bilbao School of Engineering (known as Nautical School of Portugalete).

Professor Loroño (58 years old), a career civil servant with 26 years of experience at the UPV, claims to be the victim of "permanent harassment" by professors from his department and suffer threats from students that the academic management, according to his testimony, “has overlooked”.

He is on medical leave and is considering making available to the police all the material that would prove this “labour persecution”, including recordings of the insults and death threats he has been receiving.

The university has offered him to leave the faculty and continue teaching in the Classrooms of Experience starting next year.

The ordeal that Loroño is experiencing starts years ago, approximately six years ago, when he began to warn his superiors and the Rector's Office of "irregularities" in the hiring of teachers or that some teachers were not accredited to teach certain subjects and this was endangering that some qualifications lost their homologations and the students at the end could not work as officers of the merchant marine.

He later alerted them to the "dangerous situation" of the facilities of the main workshop of the Nautical School.

He also revealed that other professors "stopped teaching the classes that corresponded to them" or incurred "incompatibility by working outside the university while they stopped teaching classes."

These complaints, all documented, according to this teacher,

"I'm afraid, I'm afraid to go to work, to be thrown down the stairs, to be hit ...", Loroño wrote last November after experiencing a violent episode carried out by a professor in his department: "I was insulted by this person in the presence of the prevention delegate and the prevention technician of the UPV.

Some of my students were present.

He lunged at me, yelled 'fucking cheater' at me as he furiously slammed a book and scolded me and told me I had to give that book.”

He explains that it was not the first time that he suffered an attack from this teacher, whom he accuses of sending him intimidating messages by mail and calling him in a violent manner on the phone at home when he was on sick leave.

He has evidence that he ordered the students to “throw the material for my research project into a filthy basement” and that during class time he dedicated himself to “inciting the students” against him.

Loroño shows recordings made in class in which he hears, with the director of his department present, "let's go get him", "let's see if we catch him", in addition to calling him "son of a bitch".

All the writings and recordings have been brought to the attention of the Vice President for Teaching and Research Staff, the Aldezle university ombudsman (a sort of ombudsman at the UPV) and the Occupational Risk Prevention Service.

Vice Chancellor Federico Recart, in a letter sent to him by email on June 10, conveys that he is "very sorry" for his personal situation.

In addition, he informs him that the university "has no proof" of the threats he has been denouncing and cannot admit "recordings that are not contributed by any of the people who participate in the recorded conversations", although he advises Loroño that "the appropriate ” is to make them “available to the competent non-university authority”.

And regarding his workplace "harassment complaint,"

The university had previously adopted other measures to try to prevent the conflict from escalating.

In February, he decided that sworn guards from the institution would escort Loroño inside the engineering school.

He also resolved that the two opposing teachers did not coincide in the center.

Loroño has had to be absent from work on several occasions due to medical prescription, since he presents "anxious-depressive symptoms reactive to external factors (labor conflict)", according to one of the psychiatric reports.

He must take medication daily.

Miguel Henares, union delegate of the UGT (Loroño is not affiliated with this center),

He has followed "in detail" the entire process that this professor is going through and affirms that in the 35 years of work in the Basque public university he has not known "any case as bloody as the one suffered by Loroño."

In 2016, this professor received an international award for his work in favor of Marine education, granted by the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (Imarest).

Iñaki Loroño (right), receives an award in London in 2016 for his work in favor of marine education.

In the midst of this conflict, the date of the discord exam is approaching.

Several students, except one, challenge Loroño and ask to be examined by a court.

They try to remove him from the exam, but this professor manages to remain in the presidency of the evaluating court.

It is May 30 and the 11 students take the exam.

It's 3:30 p.m.

Inside the classroom only Professor Loroño appears.

There are two security guards at the gate.

One of the court teachers decides to stay out and miss the exam;

the other, the alleged stalker, does not even come to the center.

Two non-degree professors sent by the Rectorate and three union delegates are also waiting in the corridors, these as witnesses.

At 8:15 p.m., Loroño considers the exam finished.

“Most [students] turn in the exam blank.

All but two write notes like the following: 'Problem 1 and Problem 2 have not been given in class'.

This is false and I can show that they are two examples that appear in the book of the subject and which days were explained in class.

They were instructed by someone to prevent them from being corrected by me”, explains this teacher.

Suddenly, Loroño continues with the account of the events, the teachers who had remained outside the class during the entire exam decide that the exam should continue without the presence of any member of the court and end the test at 9:00 p.m.

“A few days later they publish some false grades without my knowledge, with a pass for all the students, except for the only one who had not recused me, who is suspended.

The Rector immediately withdraws the notes because they had not been agreed upon by the court.

On June 15, I summon the other two representatives to agree on the qualifications, but neither of them shows up.”

On June 23, the students still did not know their grades.

When this newspaper was interested this past Thursday in the Loroño case and asked why the grades had not been published, a spokesperson for the UPV assured that this institution is made up of "a group with almost 6,000 professionals" and that "in the event of any conflict the university refers to the administrative or, where appropriate, judicial actions in which it will be substantiated”.

"We are not entering to debate or refute a specific case," said a spokesman for the UPV.

Regarding the case of the notes, he specified that "it is in the process of being resolved."

The following day, Friday, the general approval was made public.

The only student who did not recuse Loroño and was not subject to the court's ruling, has been approved with a 5, when his teacher had already given him an "outstanding" and signed his report.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-06-29

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