An African American Texas Christian University student has filed a federal civil suit claiming harassment, false imprisonment, abuse and discrimination on a trip to Washington D.C., by members of the school’s honors college, according to Dallas station WFAA.
The suit, filed this month, only identifies the 20-year-old plaintiff as “Jane Doe No. 1,” and says the episode took place during a trip last summer with the John V. Roach Honors College. While on the road with her fellow students, she says she suffered “emotional distress” and had considered suicide — even going as far as calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for the first time.
According to the plaintiff, she was subject to anti-Black racist remarks and put-downs from faculty members and assaulted constantly by Diane Snow, the Honors College dean, who she said shoved her and ignored her health concerns during the trip. She also claims that she was treated differently than white students, being forced to sleep on a couch, and having a professor make a racist remark about being locked on a slave ship during a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, WFAA reported.
When she complained about bedbugs being in their hotel suite, she said Snow ignored her, but listened to a white student.
Along with Snow, TCU’s board of trustees was also named in the lawsuit, Fredrick W. Gooding, assistant professor of African American studies; Rob Garnett, associate dean of the honors college; Darron Turner, the chief inclusion officer, and Title IX coordinator; Russell Mack, strategic communications professor; and Aaron Chimbel, a former TCU journalism professor.
The suit charges all of them with conspiracy and infliction of emotional distress, WFAA reports. TCU says it would not comment on the suit’s specific details and that the complaint is being reviewed, but did respond with a statement.
“Like many universities in the country, TCU has a complex history that we are taking an active approach to examining and understanding,” officials said. “Today, TCU is focused on creating a respectful and inclusive community for all students.”