University professor Luciano Bezerra Gomes, 43 years old, classified as “extremely inappropriate” the choice of the ombudsman at the Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB) to continue the administrative process that responds to him wearing a Landless Workers Movement (MST) t-shirt. in the classroom.
The complaint was officially filed on August 31, 2023 and forwarded to the aforementioned parties last Tuesday (5). According to the document, the professor would also have carried out “political propaganda” through slides with the movement’s logo.
The UFPB ombudsman’s opinion says that there are no “elements of materiality regarding the alleged complaint”, but defends the presence of “minimum descriptive elements”. The body also highlights that it is the university’s obligation to “correct incompatible acts and procedures” of its employees and suggests “management measures to correct and prevent the commission of errors by public servants”.
Gomes regrets that “a space that should be democratic and plural, like the university that defends free thought and expression, is being persecuted.” He also states that “it is anyone’s right to disagree”, but believes that the case is far from being the subject of a complaint, which he classifies as “unfounded”.
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The employee is part of the Department of Health Promotion at the Center for Medical Sciences (CCM), where he has taught on the institution’s medical course for 15 years. He also coordinates the master’s degree in Public Health at UFPB and is responsible for an extension project approved by the University that supports the MST health sector in the state.
The professor says he did not use MST symbols in the teaching material and explained that he eventually needs to use his personal computer in the classroom, due to the scrapping of the structure provided by the university. According to Gomes, his private notebook has photos of the extension project on his desktop.
“It was reported that in one of the classes I had worn the movement’s shirt and presented slides that were disguised political propaganda. But there is nothing disguised in my political position at the university. It has always been very explicit to everyone,” Gomes highlighted to Brasil in fact.
The professor also stated that he deliberately uses accessories that allude to the MST, which he has been presented with over time in recognition and gratitude for the role he plays in the movement. He also said that he wears not only clothes that reference the MST, but also other agendas and movements that he believes in, such as the union he is part of and vaccination campaigns.
“I have always worn, in my teaching, research and extension activities, clothes that allude to the agendas I believe in, as a free expression of thought and opinion on my own body, not to try to induce people”, he defended teacher.
The UFPB stated that the university’s ombudsman’s office conducts its activities autonomously based on manifestations broadcast through the FalaBr platform and does not respond to determinations from specific managers. The rectory said that the ombudsman’s office will check whether there are minimum descriptive elements of a presumed illegal act, inform the interested party and, if applicable, forward the case to the competent authorities for the admissibility judgment.
In a personal position issued to Paraíba radio Arapuan, the dean Valdiney Gouveia said that there is no illegality in the teacher’s act. “First of all, if he is wearing a t-shirt with any slogan, with any information, I understand that there is no illegality in that, but I will not be the one to judge. As I already said, the Rectory and the Ombudsman function independently”, said the Rector.
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In a statement, the UFPB Teachers’ Union (ADUFPB) expressed support for Luciano Gomes and said that he demonstrated “legitimate political conduct in the classroom”. “We reiterate our support and solidarity with our union colleague, who has already contributed to the management of ADUFPB, and with all members of our university community, especially the teachers who in their daily practice promote knowledge, democratic virtues and freedom of expression. learn and teach”, stated the union.
Editing: Geisa Marques