Georgia professor pulled from classes after calling police on students

Georgia State University has campuses throughout metro Atlanta. An English professor at its Newton County campus was criticized by some for calling campus police on two students in a dispute after they arrived late to class. (Courtesy of Georgia State University)

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Georgia State University has campuses throughout metro Atlanta. An English professor at its Newton County campus was criticized by some for calling campus police on two students in a dispute after they arrived late to class. (Courtesy of Georgia State University)

Georgia State educator will no longer teach in-person classes this semester

A Georgia State University professor has been removed from teaching classes on campus after she called school police last week on two students who arrived late to class, officials said Monday.

Carissa Gray, an associate English professor, will not teach any of her classes in-person this semester on Georgia State’s Newton County campus, the university’s vice president for communications, Andrea Jones, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 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 said.

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A telephone call and email to Gray were not immediately returned Monday.

The two students asked to stay in Gray’s class last Wednesday after arriving a few minutes late. 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.

Some students and others took to social media last week to raise their concerns about police involvement since both students are Black. Gray is also Black.

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The two students met Monday with the university’s interim provost and interim police chief, Jones said. The English department chair and a student life representative met with the class, Jones added. The discussions were productive, Jones said.

Georgia State has more than 52,000 students, the largest enrollment of any college or university statewide.


After publication of this story, the following statement was issued by professor Carissa Gray in June. The statement has been edited for length and clarity.

I called public safety in response to disruptive behavior by two students in my classroom. My actions had nothing to do with the students’ race. GSU’s Faculty Guidance policy states that public safety may be called if the level of disruption cannot be reasonably managed, and the disruptors refuse to leave the classroom. At the time of the incident, the students did not ask to stay in the classroom, but they refused to leave when I made that request. Additionally, following the incident and GSU’s investigation of the matter, I taught two online classes at GSU, not one. After nineteen years of service, I remain a valued member of the university with no change to my title or tenure status.