Additional penalties of the racial scandal in Georgetown Legislation
Last week, the big story in law – and beyond – was the Zoom conversation taped between two law professors at Georgetown University Law Center. Associate Professors Sandra Sellers and David Batson discussed grading in the negotiation class they teach together. Sellers was caught on camera and said of a black student, “Many of my lowly [students] are black. Happened almost every semester. And it’s like, oh come on you know There are some really good ones, but there are also some that are at the bottom that drive me crazy. “While Batson just seems to nod in agreement.
One clip of the Zoom conversation quickly went viral.
What also happened quickly was the response from the law school. Shortly after it publicly exploded, Sellers was out. Dean William Treanor said:
I informed Professor Sellers that I would end your relationship with Georgetown Law with immediate effect. During our conversation, she told me that she intended to resign. Because of my decision, Professor Sellers is no longer affiliated with Georgetown Law.
For his role in the scandal, Batson was put on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Diversity, Justice and Positive Action Office, and the Black Law Student Association in Georgetown requested, among other things, a “public apology from Professor David Batson for failure adequately condemn the statements of the sellers. “
Now we have learned that Batson made that apology and decided to step down from his role at Georgetown Law. In his resignation letter, which is fully available below, Batson apologizes for not severely denouncing the seller’s comments in real time:
However, I understand that I missed the opportunity to respond more directly to address the inappropriateness of these comments. I sincerely apologize for this. This experience has given me and I hope others an invaluable opportunity to rethink what action should be taken when we come across sensitive comments.
In her own resignation letter, Sellers also apologizes, saying that she has pledged to do everything possible to “fight racism in the Georgetown community”.
I am very sorry for my hurtful and misguided remarks. While the video of this incident is an excerpt from a lengthy discussion of class participation patterns, not overall grades, it doesn’t diminish the insensitivity I’ve shown. I would never do anything to intentionally hurt my students or Georgetown Law and wish I could take my words back. Regardless of my intent, I’ve done irreparable harm and I’m really sorry. For this reason, I am resigning from my position as associate professor immediately and voluntarily.
You can read both resignations below.
Kathryn Rubino is Senior Editor at Above the Law and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best so please connect with her. Feel free to email her tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@ Kathryn1).