UTSA Report Says Racial Bias Not A Factor In Removal Of Black Student | Texas Public Radio

UTSA Report Says Racial Bias Not A Factor In Removal Of Black Student

Nov 14, 2018

An Equal Opportunity Services investigation found racial bias to not be a factor in a professor’s decision to call the police to escort a black student out of class, according to the University of Texas at San Antonio officials.

President Taylor Eighmy said via Twitter that the finding was a part of two investigations completed Wednesday.

The first investigation found that the student does not believe the professor's actions were based on racial bias and the student will not file a formal complaint of discrimination, Eighmy said.

READ | A summary of both investigations by UTSA President Tayler Eighmy

In a separate investigation from interim UTSA Dean Howard Grimes, "Dr. Moss" is named as the lecturer of the biology course. The school’s website lists the lecturer of BIO 2053, which is also named in the report, as Anita Louellen Moss.

Moss was suspended from teaching for the rest of the semester after demonstrating a “lapse in judgment” and will be required to undergo classroom management training. She will be eligible to return to the classroom for the spring semester.

RELATEDUTSA Issues Statement About Video Of Police Escorting Student Out Of Classroom

The report said Moss called campus security to remove a student, who she believed was sent an email notifying her to not return to class following an incident Friday. But, the student returned to class Monday. The email was determined to have been “sent mistakenly to another student in the class.”

After Moss asked the student to leave, showing the student a copy of the email, the student — who appeared confused — said: “This class is very important to me and attending this class is part of my grade and I do not want to miss the lecture as we have a test coming on Wednesday.”

READ | UTSA Dean Howard Grimes' final report

Moss then told the student she was calling campus police. The student responded, “do what you need to do” and sat down, the report said.

The initial incident Friday involved the student putting her feet up on the chair in front of her, the report said. Grimes’ investigation added that Moss routinely asked students to keep their feet off the chairs. Moss said she even expressed her frustration over “what she believed to be uncivil behavior" in the classroom to another faculty member, who suggested she call campus police, the report states.

The report said Moss has a “pre-occupation with putting feet on chairs that was identified by all of the students interviewed and was recognized by Dr. Moss.”

“Because of her pre-occupation,” the report said, “Dr. Moss perceives this behavior to be uncivil, while disciplinary colleagues and other faculty would likely disagree.”

The investigation determined Moss should not have called campus police because there was no apparent safety risk, and her doing so showed "a lapse in judgment" and a failure to manage her classroom effectively.

WATCH | Original Twitter post which has been viewed more than 4 million times

Both investigations came in response to a Twitter video posted by classmate Apurva Rawal, whose cellphone video shows the student leaving a lecture hall accompanied by three campus police officers.

The video would be viewed more than 4 million times. Both students have not returned requests for comment.

Vince Kong can be reached at vince@tpr.org or on Twitter @teamvincek