A LSU French professor who is accused of mishandling sexual assault cases will continue to teach in the classroom this fall.
LSU professor Adelaide Russo reportedly knew of sexual assault charges and complaints against a French grad student and did not report these complaints.
In October 2021, LSU removed Russo from her position as French Department Chair, in response to her alleged involvement in the lawsuit.
Allegedly, Russo’s actions allowed grad student Edouard d’Espalung d’Arros to continue to work with students and hold a position in the French Club, according to club member Carson Gagliano.
“Yeah, Edouard was very much a part of the club,” said Gagliano. “It was obvious that he was the president and very high up in any French Club efforts and chain of command.”
D’Espalung reportedly fled to France, but a civil suit against Russo is still being investigated.
Russo is currently the only instructor option for one of the French courses, meaning some of her and d’Espalungue’s alleged victims may have to take her class. Tiger's Against Sexual Assault secretary Mia Macaluso says this shouldn’t happen.
“I don’t think it’s too big of a demand for LSU to put in another teacher, especially because obviously to graduate, she has to take the class, which means other graduating seniors have to take the class,” said Macaluso.
Some LSU students and campus groups have started a petition calling for the removal of Dr. Russo from the classroom, saying they understand she cannot be terminated until the civil suit against her is complete, but she shouldn’t be in the classroom.
The petition calling for Russo’s removal from student contact was created a week ago and has over 1,200 signatures. Six students are currently enrolled in Russo's 4000 level course.
In a statement made to Tiger TV, LSU Media Relations said,
“Dr. Russo was removed as chair of the department in fall 2021. She is teaching a course currently but has no advising responsibilities for student organizations or departmental groups. We are aware that some may disagree, but at this point we do not believe there are sufficient grounds to take additional punitive steps. For students who do not wish to take a class taught by Dr. Russo, the College of Humanities & Social Sciences is working with them individually to find an alternative class option."