A group of nursing students at LaDelta Community College in Louisiana have accused their professor of discriminating against them because of their race.
Speaking with local station KNOE, the group of unnamed students claim instructor Leslie McMurray distributed a study guide to the class for a final exam in early December. They added that she took a white student’s notes and highlighted portions of it she said would be essential to know for the upcoming exam.
However, the students alleged that McMurray further instructed the white students not to share their highlighted notes “with the Blacks or no one associated with the Blacks.” The students, who are African-American, said they only found out about McMurray’s racially-discriminatory instructions after a white classmate told them about it.
That student later confirmed their story to KNOE.
Screenshots obtained by the news station of a group chat between some of the students who received the notes seemingly show them trying to protect the professor. Others in the group seemed to feel bad about keeping the notes from their Black classmates.
“What are we talking to that lady about,” the text messages said in part. “I don’t want to say I have any notes.”
“Do we say there are no highlights from Leslie?” another read. “What if they ask to see them.”
In an audio clip also provided to KNOE, McMurray can be heard justifying her actions to the class, saying she only highlighted what she thought the students needed to focus on. She’s then heard asking the class to raise their hands if they did not get the special notes so they could finally receive them. That’s when one students asks why is it that “all the people you are giving this too are the Blacks?”
“I trusted you with my education,” said one student who said she was hurt by the teacher’s actions. “Like how could you try to plot against us because of the color of our skin.”
School officials said they launched an investigation into the matter but found “no evidence of racial bias.”
In part, Chancellor Dennis Epps released the following statement:
“Louisiana Delta Community College takes the cares and concerns of all of our students and employees very seriously, as we strive to promote an atmosphere conducive to learning … [We] are committed to a culture of inclusion and always wants to do the right thing. If new facts or information become available, the investigation would obviously be re-opened.”