A college professor called the police on a black student for having her feet up in class
The school is investigating it as a possible case of discrimination
by Nian Hu
A biology professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio called the police on a student for allegedly having her feet up in class.
In a video posted on Twitter by fellow classmate Apurva Rawal, UTSA professor Anita Moss can be seen talking to three police officers before sending them over to a black female student sitting in the lecture hall. After approaching her seat, the police officers proceed to escort her out of the room.
So this happened today in class, a girl had her feet up and the professor called the police after calling our class uncivil 😬 pic.twitter.com/spq0ShXiFU
— Apurva Rawal (@ApurvaYRawal) November 12, 2018
According to Rawal, the professor called the police because the female student had her feet up on a seat in front of her. Though Rawal said the student was not talking or interrupting the lecture, the professor stopped class entirely and stepped outside to call the police.
"As upset as I am that my professor decided to throw a temper tantrum the lecture before an exam and cancel class, I'm even more outraged that she would decide to single out and humiliate a student just to flex her authority in a destructive manner," Rawal tweeted.
This is me in Anita Moss’ 2053 Bio classroom. Upon entering class I was told I needed to leave or would be escorted out by officers, I never disobeyed the student code of conduct. Not once. A police report is being filed atm, this is just the beginning. Thanks for your support! https://t.co/YUZGmwgFa7
— pistachio 🍂🍁 (@FavoritePaigeee) November 12, 2018
Twitter user @FavoritePaigeee identified herself as the student in the video and identified the professor as Anita Moss, a senior lecturer at UTSA who specializes in human anatomy and human physiology.
"This is me in Anita Moss' 2053 Bio classroom," she tweeted. "Upon entering class I was told I needed to leave or would be escorted out by officers, I never disobeyed the student code of conduct. Not once. A police report is being filed atm, this is just the beginning. Thanks for your support!"
People are comparing this to incidents in which police were called on black people for minor infractions
In the replies to @FavoritePaigeee's tweet, many people pointed out that the professor is white while the student is black. They compared the professor to other white women who called the police on black people for minor infractions, and some even nicknamed her "Professor Patty."
"This is horrifying," one Twitter user replied. "Police called for feet up? You cannot tell me race has nothing to do with this. This professor is using the police to stroke her bruised, racist ego."
"So sad that we knew that the teacher would be white and the person getting kicked out, a person of color," someone else tweeted. "Thankfully both you and the officers handled it smoothly and professionally."
"People calling the police on POC for reasons like this has to be stopped," yet another Twitter user wrote. "This is so unnecessary. I am so sorry."
UTSA is currently investigating this incident
After Rawal posted the video of the incident on Twitter, it quickly became viral, garnering over 23,000 likes and 11,000 retweets. The official Twitter account of UTSA responded to the video with the following statement: "We are aware of this situation and are working closely with the student and Department of Biology to better understand what happened today."
Kimberly Andrews Espy, the university's Provost and Vice President, tweeted that she and the Interim Dean of the school were both aware of the video as well. She said that they were "concerned" and that they would respond accordingly when they learn more.
According to KSAT, the president of USAT also sent out a letter to students and staff members on Monday about this incident, which they said they are investigating as a possible case of discrimination.
We are aware of this situation and are working closely with the student and Department of Biology to better understand what happened today.
— UTSA (@UTSA) November 12, 2018
COS Interim Dean Howard Grimes and I both are aware of the video that was taken in a biology classroom earlier today. Creating a classroom environment that is conducive to learning is our priority, so we too are concerned and will respond accordingly when we learn more. #utsa
— Kimberly Andrews Espy (@ProvostEspy) November 12, 2018
We reached out to @FavoritePaigeee, Apurva Rawal, Anita Moss, and UTSA for comment. We will update this story as it progresses.