BLACK VOICES

White Lecturer Who Called Cops On Black Student Wasn't Racially Biased, College Says

The University of Texas at San Antonio has said the student has "elected not to file a formal complaint of discrimination."

A Texas university has said that “racial bias was not a factor” in an incident in which a white lecturer called the police on a black student who reportedly had her feet propped up during a class. 

Student Apurva Rawal recorded the incident at the University of Texas at San Antonio and uploaded the footage to Twitter on Tuesday. 

“So this happened today in class, a girl had her feet up and the professor called the police after calling our class uncivil,” he wrote.

“This professor stopped class entirely and stepped out to call the police just because one student had her feet up on a seat in front of her. Mind you she wasn’t talking or interrupting lecture.”

Two separate investigations have since been carried out in relation to the matter, including one on potential discrimination and another on classroom management.

In a letter sent to students and staff on Wednesday, the university’s president, Taylor Eighmy, said that in-depth interviews with both the faculty member and the student had been conducted.

“EOS’s [Equal Opportunity Services] assessment, based primarily on the opinion of the student, is that racial bias was not a factor in the actions of the faculty member,” he wrote. “Because the student feels the faculty member’s actions were not based in racial bias, she has elected not to file a formal complaint of discrimination with EOS regarding the incident.”

Earlier, Eighmy acknowledged that initial reactions to the incident indicated that “feelings of marginalization on the part of some students ― especially our African American students ― are real and profound.”

“Let me reiterate that the results of these investigations in no way diminish my firm commitment to the work we must do to create a more inclusive campus environment,” he wrote Wednesday.

“After hearing from so many students, faculty and staff regarding their feelings of marginalization, disrespect and fear, I am more convinced than ever that this is a top priority for UTSA.” 

The second investigation concluded that the faculty member “failed to manage her classroom and displayed poor judgment in her handling” of the situation but that her actions didn’t warrant her firing.

“The instructor has a very strong track record of positive student evaluations, and she had no prior incidents of classroom mismanagement,” Eighmy wrote. “Moreover, the students interviewed shared their opinions that the faculty member’s actions did not warrant her dismissal.”

Twitter user @FavoritePaigeee has claimed to be the student involved in the incident, writing that, “upon entering class I was told I needed to leave or would be escorted out by officers.”

“I never disobeyed the student code of conduct. Not once,” she tweeted. “A police report is being filed atm [at the moment], this is just the beginning.”

HuffPost has contacted the user for comment. 

Twitter users blasted the lecturer’s actions, with many calling on the university to dismiss her. 

The lecturer who is believed to be involved in the incident did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. 

This article has been updated to include the Eighmy’s comments on the investigations into the incident. 

HuffPost

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