Cody Mullins Luedtke ’08 was an instructor and lab coordinator at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College for nearly six years, but was recently terminated for refusing to teach without masks in the biology, environmental science, and botany courses she teaches.
The University System of Georgia policy adopted in May does not require vaccinated individuals to wear a mask, and professors “are forbidden from requiring masks in their classrooms or inquiring about vaccination status of students.”
“As I prepared for the semester to begin, I realized that teaching in this environment would be crossing a boundary for me,” said Luedtke. “I am vaccinated. This was me not wanting to risk the health and safety of my students, their families and the greater community by allowing this classroom environment to exist.”
With state vaccination rates below 50%, Luedtke considered the likelihood of unvaccinated students being in her classes. “A lot of them are young and healthy, but not all of them are. Many are first-generation students and live with their parents and other family members. I could see the bigger impact and see this spiraling out into the community.”