In a physics class at North Carolina State University, professor Dr. E. David Davis was lecturing and randomly calling on students to answer questions.
Students told ABC7's sister station ABC11 that Davis used a random name generator to call on students and a female student could not correctly answer a question.
BREAKING: An NC State physics professor has been suspended by the university for referring to women students in his class as “useless” during a lecture on Tuesday. #NCState #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/6teOddVTCD— DeJuan Hoggard (@DeJuanABC11) October 2, 2019
"He joked around a bit and said (to the female student) 'Were you dropped on your head as a baby by your mother?'" said one student in the class who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of being retaliated against.
According to that same student, Davis randomly called on another female student.
The anonymous student said another female classmate began to answer the question by saying she was also dropped on her head as a baby.
"His response to that was 'Well, the women are useless today. So maybe I should ask a man,'" the anonymous student told ABC11.
She then told ABC11 one of her classmates stood up and told Davis his comments were not OK and inappropriate.
Videos of Davis telling the class he was only joking began to quickly circulate across social media.
"It's a joke," Davis replied. "Obviously women are not useless. If they were useless, we wouldn't exist as a species. So, I mean, it's a joke. Try to find the humorous side..."
NCSU issued a statement Wednesday saying Davis had been suspended:
"The faculty member has been immediately suspended from teaching while this incident is being further investigated. At NC State we take pride in our campus culture which values and strives to live our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity."
"We're all wondering what's going to happen in class tomorrow," the anonymous student said. "I feel like he should actually be sincerely apologetic towards the class and just everyone who has heard what happened because it's not OK and he should realize that."
"This campus is very inclusive and prides itself on welcoming people. And I just don't understand how we can continue having this atmosphere if we have professors who are allowed to behave like that," another female student said.
ABC11 has reached out to Davis for comment. He has not responded to our requests.