COVINGTON, Ga. — A Georgia State University professor at its Newton campus has been removed from teaching classes in-person after she called school police last week on two students who arrived late to class, officials said Monday.
Associate English professor Carissa Gray will not teach any of her classes in-person this semester on Georgia State’s campus located off Ga. Hwy. 11 in east Newton, GSU communications director Andrea Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday.
Gray will teach one class virtually.
“She was removed from teaching the in-person classes so students could finish the semester with minimal disruption,” Jones told the AJC.
Gray did not return a telephone call and email for comment Monday.
The AJC reported the two students asked to stay in Gray’s class March 30 after arriving a few minutes late. However, Gray left the classroom and called campus police who returned with her, university officials said.
Police de-escalated the situation without incident, Georgia State officials said.
TikTok creator and college student Bria Blake posted about the incident last week, NBC news reported.
In the video, which has over 116,000 likes, she said two of her classmates, whom she identified as Taylor and Kamryn, were two minutes late to an English class.
According to Blake's retelling, Taylor said that they as students "paid to be here" and refused to leave. Gray then left the room and returned with two armed police officers, Blake said.
Some students and others raised concerns about police involvement since both students are Black — though Gray is also Black.
The two students met Monday with the university’s interim provost and interim police chief, the AJC reported. The English department chair and a student life representative met with the class and the discussions were productive, Jones said.
Georgia State University has policies against "disruptive behavior" in the classroom, according to its student code of conduct. The school policy states that an instructor may summon campus police to remove a student whose behavior "poses an immediate threat to the safety" of themself, the instructor or other students, NBC reported.
A GSU spokesperson said the policy refers to extreme behavior that may endanger others in the classroom. Calling the campus police over tardiness or other disrespectful behavior is not typical of university faculty, the spokesperson told NBC.