Georgetown Law fires professor heard making discriminatory remarks about Black students on Zoom
"This is by no means the end of our work to address the many structural issues of racism reflected in this painful incident."
The Georgetown University Law School professor who commented that her lowest-performing students are Black on a Zoom call has been fired.
Dean Bill Treanor issued a statement that he called “A Message to the Georgetown Law Community.”
“I am appalled that two members of our faculty engaged in a conversation that included reprehensible statements concerning the evaluation of Black students. I have further reviewed the incident and have now spoken to Professor Sellers and Professor Batson, giving each the opportunity to provide any additional context. I informed Professor Sellers that I was terminating her relationship with Georgetown Law effective immediately.”
Treanor said that Sandra Sellers informed him that she intended to resign.
While Sellers is no longer with the institution, Professor David Batson who is seen in the call nodding in agreement to his colleague’s comments has been placed on administrative leave and is under investigation by the university’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action.
Batson will no longer teach the course that he and Sellers previously led.
“I hate to say this. I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks,” Professor Sellers said. “Happens almost every semester. And it’s like, oh come on. It’s some really good ones, but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom, it drives me crazy.”
Treanor wrote that the university is “taking significant steps to ensure that all students in this class are fairly graded without the input of Professor Sellers or Professor Batson.”
“This is by no means the end of our work to address the many structural issues of racism reflected in this painful incident, including explicit and implicit bias, bystander responsibility, and the need for more comprehensive anti-bias training. This is a matter of great concern to me. I will be writing to you soon with a range of actions and changes that we will implement to address these issues.”
He noted that the university will conduct a listening session for the entire law school student community today.
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