Sheffield university students made to apologise over 'Planet of the Apes' racist joke claims

Furious university bosses have forced two students to issue an apology after they allegedly posted racist jokes online that sparked outrage among their peers.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, 10:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, 2:50 pm
The University of Sheffield.
The University of Sheffield.

The controversy centered on two pictures allegedly uploaded to a Facebook group chat by two undergraduates at the University of Sheffield in November last year.

Screenshots taken of the conversations show students discussing details about their course when one appears to post an image that compares the poster for the film ‘The Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ with one from the Black Lives Matter equal rights campaign.

Another student then sent an illustration from a children’s book about ‘Snigger the Monkey’.

The posts sparked a backlash from other appalled members of the group chat and the university was forced to investigate.

The students could have faced expulsion from the university but a spokesperson said they have now written full apologies to those who were offended and the matter is now closed.

They added: "There is no place at Sheffield for racism and we are confident that the views of these two individuals in no way represent Sheffield students, who take pride in being part of a community with students from over 140 different countries and all ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds.

"Racism and xenophobia are abhorrent to staff and students and contradict our core values of mutual respect.

"As with any cases when a student's conduct is contrary to our disciplinary code, we will always take appropriate and timely disciplinary action.

“In this instance, following the enactment of our formal University process for dealing with misconduct, as well as meetings with heads of department and a senior central university figure, both students have shown remorse and accepted responsibility for their actions.

"They have fully understood the impact of their actions on others and have written full apologies to all those concerned.”

A number of students took to Twitter to voice their outrage at the posts around the time they were uploaded.

One student, aged 19, who left the group chat in disgust, called the images “disrespectful” and “offensive.”