A black student at a Northampton, Massachusetts liberal art college claims police being called on her on Tuesday while reading and eating lunch in a common room by a white staff member who believed her to be 'out of place'.
"This painful incident reminds us of the ongoing legacy of racism and bias in which people of color are targeted while simply going about the business of their daily lives", McCartney said.
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"No student of color should have to explain why they belong at prestigious white institutions", Kanoute wrote.
"I did nothing wrong, I wasn't making any noise or bothering anyone", she wrote on Facebook. All I did was be black.
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The post has received more than 500 shares as of Thursday morning. "Smith College routinely outsources their summer security to the Northampton Police Department, so it was particularly traumatizing to realize that someone with a lethal weapon, and the full authority of the state of MA might have been called to respond to the incident", said Kanoute. The Smith College account commented on the post and said that according to school policy, campus police records must redact the names of parties involved.
College officials say they have reached out to the student and plan on conducting an investigation with the employee, human resources, and campus police.
A survey released past year noted that many students complained about "incidences of injustice" associated with ethnic identity and race, according to the school's newspaper, The Sophian. "I'm working the summer program so I was just relaxing on the couch".
In her message, McCartney said employees will now be required to attend "anti-bias training" and said the school will offer a series of workshops for faculty and staff on "identity, inclusion, bias-response and bias-prevention". Hunter added in a statement to the school community that "such behavior can contribute to a climate of fear, hostility and exclusion that has no place in our community", according to The Cut. "I worked my hardest to get into Smith, and I deserve to feel safe on my campus", she wrote.
"Clearly, we have important work to do going forward as a community", McCartney said.
The student, who is not identified by name, angrily wrote about the incident on her Facebook page and accused whoever called the police on her of having racial biases.