The University of Texas at San Antonio professor who called the cops on a black student for allegedly putting her feet up on a chair during a lecture will be taking a semester’s worth of seats. The university announced Tuesday that biology professor Anita Moss was suspended for the semester following the incident. Two investigations are also underway.
The school confirmed the news in an email written to the UTSA campus community Tuesday night, reports BuzzFeed News. Neither the student nor the professor have been officially identified by the university, but Moss’ students identified her on social media after video of the incident went viral.
The first series of videos and tweets were posted by Apurva Rawal.
According to Rawal, Moss was in a mood that day, going on a “whole tirade” about how uncivil the class was because some students appeared to not be paying attention.
As the video Rawal captured shows, the student was escorted out of the class by three UTSA campus police officers. Another Twitter user who said she attended Moss’ class that day tweeted that class was canceled after the incident.
The black female student Moss called the cops on eventually weighed in herself, hopping on Twitter to thank Rawal and other classmates for supporting her.
“Upon entering class I was told I needed to leave or would be escorted out by officers,” the student wrote. “I never disobeyed the student code of conduct. Not once.”
She noted that other classmates “called [Moss] out for being disruptive” and that she would file a police report of her own against the professor.
A tweet from UTSA’s account voiced that the school was “concerned” about what student videos showed, adding that both Moss and the student who was harassed met separately with university officials.
In his email to UTSA students and faculty members, university President Taylor Eighmy confirmed that the rest of Moss’ classes for the semester would be taught by another professor, BuzzFeed writes.
“The student involved in the incident has been welcomed back to class and offered support services. Once the two investigations are complete next week, appropriate administrative action will be determined,” Eighmy wrote.
He also acknowledged—as other campus administrations have in reaction to similar incidents—that the event was indicative of broader problems concerning racism and discrimination, particularly against black students, faculty, and staff.
“The bottom line: regardless of the final outcomes regarding [Monday’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,” he wrote.
Updated Nov. 14, 2018, at 3:48 p.m. EDT:
On Wednesday, UTSA shared the results of their investigation, summarizing their findings in a statement posted on their website. After conducting interviews with the student on whom Senior Lecturer Anita Moss called the cops, as well as talking to Moss’ other students, the school said Moss will “undergo classroom management training” with the school; she is expected to return in the spring semester with “ongoing monitoring.”
There were two components to the investigation, one of which was an Equal Opportunity Services investigation, which specifically looked at whether Moss’ actions were discriminatory in nature.
“EOS’s assessment, based primarily on the opinion of the student, is that racial bias was not a factor in the actions of the faculty member. 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,” wrote UTSA President Taylor Eighmy.
The rest of Moss’ students ended up saving her ass, too.
“The instructor has a very strong track record of positive student evaluations, and she had no prior incidents of classroom mismanagement. Moreover, the students interviewed shared their opinions that the faculty member’s actions did not warrant her dismissal,” Eighmy wrote.
“Based on all this information, [the interim dean] has concluded that the faculty member failed to manage her classroom and displayed poor judgment in her handling of Monday’s situation, but that her actions do not warrant termination.”