Professor Fired After Students Notice His 'Busty College Girl' Bookmark During Zoom Class

An eight-second TikTok video, which zoomed in on the teacher’s browser, quickly went viral.

University of Miami professor John Peng Zhang was fired earlier this month after he accidentally revealed an inappropriate bookmark tab on his internet browser titled, “busty college girl” to his students while teaching a business analytics class on Zoom.

According to The Miami Hurricane, the university’s student newspaper, it all began on March 26 when one of Zhang’s students had his microphone on during an online session where Zhang was sharing his screen. The student then noticed the X-rated bookmark tab on the professor’s browser and pointed it out to his classmates.

While Zhang reportedly kept teaching as if nothing had happened, the students recorded videos and snapped photos of the screen. The Hurricane said students quickly posted the content to social media, including TikTok. Before the class ended, the footage already started to spread.

An eight-second TikTok video, which zoomed in on Zhang’s browser and the Miami.edu URL, received over 800,000 views in only a few hours. By the next day, it had spread to college-related Instagram accounts like Fifthyear and Barstool.

“It was insane…it blew up,” Samantha Hill, a student in one of Zhang’s classes, told The Hurricane.

Ethan Hartz, a freshman business student who witnessed the incident, added, “I had friends sharing it with me from other schools who saw it.”

During the next session, Zhang reportedly told the class: “I don’t know how it happened. I didn’t see it, I’m pretty sure everybody else did… My apologies to the class.” He is said to have then sent out an email to the students saying he was “investigating” and encouraged them not to share the video.

According to The Hurricane, “at least one more” class went by normally, however, when it was time for another session, Zhang was absent. The students in the Zoom session were left without a professor for about 20 minutes until they received an email from UM’s business analytics department chair Robert Plant, who told them class was canceled.

Zhang, Plant and vice dean for undergraduate business education Ann Olazabal declined to speak to the press, including The Hurricane. The course’s new professors Gery Perez and Maikel Espinosa — who the newspaper said “changed the class from Zoom to Blackboard Ultra with little notice” — also didn’t comment.

While many students voiced their concern about Zhang’s well-being, others said the professor’s X-rated bookmark made them feel uncomfortable.

Though they haven’t directly addressed the situation, the university provided a statement.

“The University of Miami aggressively investigates all complaints of inappropriate behavior or sexual harassment,” the institution told The Hurricane. “After receiving a complaint through the University’s ethics hotline, the incident was investigated by the Office of the Provost, Title IX investigator and Miami Herbert Business School.”

[via TooFab]

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