Georgetown Law announced Wednesday that it has fired a professor who was caught on camera saying that a lot of her “lower” students are “blacks.”
“I have further reviewed the incident and have now spoken to Professor [Sandra] Sellers and Professor [David] 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,” William Treanor, the dean of The Georgetown University Law Center, wrote in a statement. “During our conversation, she told me that she had intended to resign. As a result of my decision, Professor Sellers is no longer affiliated with Georgetown Law.”
Georgetown Law announced earlier Wednesday that it was investigating the incident.
“We learned earlier this week that two members of our faculty engaged in a conversation that included reprehensible statements concerning the evaluation of Black students,” Treanor said in a press release. (RELATED: Georgetown Professor Says White Men Should Be Castrated, Fed To Swine)
“We are taking this incident extremely seriously,” Treanor added at the time, saying that the university’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action will be conducting a “thorough” investigation into the matter.
Sellers was speaking to her colleague and co-instructor, David Batson, in a Zoom lecture when she made the comments, NBC News reported.
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In the Zoom call, she said that most of her poorly performing students were black people. (RELATED: Professor Compiles Ranking Of ‘The Whitest Law Schools’ And Recommends Eliminating ‘Excess Whiteness’ By Ending Standardized Testing)
In the video, Sellers is heard telling Batson, “You know what? I hate to say this: I end up having this angst every semester, that a lot of my lower ones are blacks. It happens almost every semester, and it’s like, oh, come on. You know, we get some really good ones but there also usually are some of them that are just plain at the bottom.”
Batson does not say anything and just nods.
That lecture was then recorded and uploaded to the lecture hosting platform Panopto, where students attending classes online could access it alongside other lecture recordings. Someone had then grabbed a recording of the part where Sellers said those words and uploaded it on social media before the lecture recording was taken down.
“Professor Batson has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action, the results of which will inform our next steps,” Treanor said in the statement announcing Sellers’ termination. “Until the completion of the investigation, Professor Batson will have no further involvement with the course in which the incident arose.”
I feel so damn guilty about being on our school’s Admissions Committee and bringing in students from underrepresented backgrounds to an environment with professors like this.
How many are having these conversations unrecorded?
— Hassan Ahmad (@hahmad1996) March 11, 2021
More than 1,100 Georgetown students, alumni, and supporters from the public signed the BLSA’s petition demanding “nothing short of the immediate termination of Sandra Sellers,” and they want Batson to apologize publicly for not standing up to Sellers’ “racist statements.”
The petition also demanded that the university audit Sellers’ past grading and hire more black professors.