A White College Professor Reportedly Called 911 Because A Black Student Put Her Feet On A Chair
In an email to students, the university's president vowed to make UTSA a more "inclusive campus."
November 14, 2018 at 6:21 pm
A white professor is under fire at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) for allegedly calling police on a Black student for having her feet propped on a chair.
In a video posted to Twitter on Monday, several police officers talked in the back of Anita Moss' classroom before Moss pointed to a Black student in the middle row, signaling to officers the alleged offender. After being approached by a single officer, the scholar quietly gathered her belongings and left the lecture hall with the officer.
Apurva Racal, the student who filmed the interaction, described what happened in a series of tweets:
So this happened today in class, a girl had her feet up and the professor called the police after calling our class uncivil 😬 pic.twitter.com/spq0ShXiFU— Apurva Rawal (@ApurvaYRawal) November 12, 2018
Racal claimed the incident bruised Moss' ego, who went on a "whole tirade" in a previous lecture about how disrespectful her students were, as some were on their phone and not paying attention.
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— Apurva Racal (@ApurvaYRawal) November 12, 2018
The student in question confirmed her identity on Twitter and disclosed that Professor Moss told her she needed to leave the classroom, or she would contact officials.
The class before this professor went on a whole tirade about how uncivil we all were because a few students were on their phone or not paying attention, cutting lecture time for the rest of us because her ego was bruised— Apurva Racal (@ApurvaYRawal) November 12, 2018
"I never disobeyed the student code of conduct. Not once," she continued.
Naturally, Twitter users questioned the professor's motives, wondering why Moss would call the police for such a trivial matter.
This is me in Anita Moss’ 2053 Bio classroom. 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. A police report is being filed atm, this is just the beginning. Thanks for your support! https://t.co/YUZGmwgFa7— pistachio 🍂🍁 (@FavoritePaigeee) November 12, 2018
As a professor I was horrified that this happened to you. If you ever need a scientist in Michigan, I’m your woman.— Julie Libarkin (@GeoEdResearch) November 13, 2018
In an email to students on Tuesday, UTSA President Taylor Eighmy said there would be two separate investigations into the situation, one conducted by the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity Services and another by the College of Sciences.
Pretty straightforward here: Af-Am student stretched out in class not bothering anyone, talking or dysrupting class & Racist WW bio prof called campus police...not 1 student policy says ANYTHING about students not being able 2put feet up on t/back of chairs.#BioBetty https://t.co/1iEp3lI1PS— Dr. Kate Shaw MA., MS., PsyD. (@katelovesneuro) November 13, 2018
In the meantime, however, the accused professor's classes will be taught by another faculty member for the remainder of the semester. The investigations are expected to end next week, where an "appropriate administrative action will be determined."
No matter the results of the internal investigation, President Eighmy vowed to enact change that makes UTSA a more inclusive institution.
"Regardless of the final outcomes regarding yesterday’s incident, we have an obligation as an institution to take a hard look at our campus climate—especially for students of color—and enact systemic change to make UTSA a more inclusive campus," the university's president said.
Earlier this month, UTSA announced the hiring of a vice president of inclusive excellence, a founding position for the university. Vice President Myron Anderson will serve as a "leadership anchor, helping UTSA shape policies, set goals and provide strategic direction for the journey toward improving the campus climate for underrepresented groups."
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UTSA's student body is about 53 percent Hispanic, 24 percent white and less than 9 percent African-American.
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