Math professors do math problems. English professors write books. Shouldn’t it be OK for a professor of vampiric studies to drink a little blood? Apparently it is at Glyndwr University in Wales where a student cut her finger in class and the professor who specializes in vampire research licked up the blood, but another academic who blew the whistle is suing because she feels she was treated unfairly after reporting the incident, while the professor suffered no consequences. Did you follow that?
Let’s start with Dr. Emyr Williams. He’s a senior lecturer in psychology at Glyndwr University in Wrexham, but is better known as a popular television expert on vampires due to his lectures on the subject, his recent study on the religious beliefs of “real vampires” and his belief that there are at least 15,000 vampires living in Britain today.
“[They] drink blood and drain energy from people, but their well-established laws mean they know who it can and can’t be taken from.”
Williams is known to encourage his students to study vampirism and has been known to help them get in contact with vampire communities. It seems he may have bone a little further with on of them. The unnamed student claims she cut herself during a class and had later seen Williams wipe up the blood she dripped with his fingers and then lick them. While that’s not quite the same as sinking his teeth into a warm vein, the student decided to tell someone about it.
Enter Helen Coleman, now employed by the school but at the time (2013) a PhD student of Williams at Glyndwr. After the student confided in her, she decided to report the incident to school officials out of concern for the safety of other students. That seems fair, doesn’t; it?
Apparently not to the officials at Glyndwr. According to Coleman’s attorney, her whistle-blowing was ignored and “’No measures of protection have been put in place four years on.” In fact, Coleman claims she was punished instead. Her attorney stated in a employment tribunal against the university: “She was kicked out of her professional PhD course. She still works there but not in an academic role.” Coleman has also been diagnosed with work-related stress and is suing the school for damages.
According to media reports, the university denies any wrong-doing and Dr. Williams has continued to appear on television as an expert, often with alleged vampires even though he denies he himself is one. As far as he’s concerned, it’s “a genuine way of life.”
“We are talking about a group of individuals who believe they have a psychological need to consume blood.”
Should Williams be allowed to drink blood? If it’s not against the law, why not? Does this make him a danger to students? In these sensitive times, it seems like anything a professor does or says can be considered a threat to students. Perhaps he should have asked for the girl’s permission or waited until he was alone. Then again, he’s a well-known vampire expert. What’s the surprise? Coleman should not have been punished for coming forward but the resolution of all of the various issues will require more lawyers, more money and more time.
Who are the real bloodsuckers in this case?