A Georgetown law professor has resigned after being placed on administrative leave over a Zoom conversation with a now-fired professor whom the school described as racist.
David Batson participated in the call — which was recorded and posted on social media by a student — with former-Georgetown professor Sandra Sellers.
“I hate to say this. I ended up having this, you know, angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks. Happens almost every semester. And it’s like, ‘Oh, come on.’ You know. Get some really good ones but they’re also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy,” Sellers was recorded saying in a meeting with Batson.
“What drives me crazy is, you know, the concept of how that plays out. And whether that is, you know, my own perceptions playing in here and when certain, my own, you know, my own unconscious biases, you know, playing out in the scheme of things,” Batson responded.
.@GeorgetownLaw negotiations Professors Sandra Sellers and David Batson being openly racist on a recorded Zoom call.
Beyond unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/q5MoWjBok8
— Hassan Ahmad (@hahmad1996) March 10, 2021
WTOP reached out to Georgetown asking for confirmation that Batson had submitted his resignation and that Georgetown Law Dean Bill Treanor had accepted.
“Yes and yes,” a university spokesperson said in an email.
Treanor released an updated statement Thursday afternoon in which he said he was “appalled” by the conversation between now-terminated professor Sandra Sellers and professor David Batson, who was placed on leave before resigning.
“I informed Professor Sellers that I was terminating her relationship with Georgetown Law effective immediately,” Treanor wrote.
The Georgetown University Law Center Black Students Association, noting that Sellers thought she was on a private call, had earlier released a statement and petition calling for Sellers’ immediate termination.
“These racist statements reveal not only Sellers’ beliefs about Black students in her classes, but also how her racist thoughts have translated to racist actions. Professor Sellers’s bias has impacted the grades of Black students in her classes historically, in her own words,” the BLSA statement reads.