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Attorney clarifies information in report on GSU professor

COVINGTON, Ga. — An attorney for a Georgia State University professor says there were some inaccuracies in what was reported by area and national media about a late March incident at its Newton campus.

Associate English professor Carissa Gray was removed from teaching classes in-person after police were called on two students who arrived late to class March 30.

The students who arrived late did not ask to stay after arriving late on March 30 despite the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting they asked to remain in the classroom, said attorney Gregory R. Fidlon, representing Gray.   

In addition, NBC-TV reported that a GSU spokesperson said the university’s Student Conduct Code and Guidance Policy refers to calling the campus police if extreme behavior that may endanger others is present. Calling police for tardiness or other disrespectful behavior is not typical of university faculty, NBC reported the spokesperson as saying.

However, Fidlon said the Student Conduct Code and Guidance Policy also authorizes instructors to call GSU Police if a disruptive student does not comply with the instructor’s request to leave the classroom.

Fidlon did not dispute other parts of the report, including Gray being removed from teaching the in-person classes so students could finish the semester with minimal disruption,” GSU communications director Andrea Jones told the AJC.

Police de-escalated the situation without incident, Georgia State officials said. Some students and others raised concerns about police involvement since both students are Black — though Gray is also Black.