Three white male students have slapped a black female Minneapolis Community and Technical College professor with a racial-discrimination complaint, causing the professor to be formally reprimanded by school officials for creating a “hostile learning environment,” Salon reports.
Shannon Gibney was teaching her class, Introduction to Mass Communication, when the students reportedly reacted in a hostile manner when she brought up structural racism.
“Why do we have to talk about this every class? Why do we have to talk about this?” one of them allegedly asked her.
“His whole demeanor was very defensive. He was taking it personally. I tried to explain, of course, in a reasonable manner—as reasonable as I could given the fact that I was being interrupted and put on the spot in the middle of class—that this is unfortunately the context of 21st-century America,” Gibney said in an interview with City College News.
Soon after, another white student jumped in.
“Yeah, I don’t get this either. It’s like people are trying to say that white men are always the villains, the bad guys. Why do we have to say this?” that student said according to Salon.
The back and forth continued until Gibney told them to file an official complaint with the school’s legal affairs department if they had a problem with how she handled the topic.
The students took her up on her suggestion and did just that, and Gibney was reprimanded by the vice president of Academic Affairs.
Gibney retaliated in return, and according to Salon, with six other professors is in the process of filing a federal class action lawsuit against the college for being a discriminatory workplace.