For more information please call  800.727.2766


Georgetown Law Professors Put Bias Front and Center

On March 10, a video of two Georgetown adjunct law professors went viral because of the racist views expressed in it. Sandra Sellers and David Batson co-taught a negotiations class at the law school. The video shows Sellers commenting to Batson about Black students in her class. She said: “I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks. Happens almost every semester. It’s like, ‘Oh come on.’ You know? I get some really good ones, but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy.” Sellers believed she was making her comments in private after class, but the class video posted on the school’s platform included the professors’ conversation. A student discovered the video and posted it on social media.

Georgetown terminated Sellers a few days after the video went viral, but it had already been on the school’s platform for two weeks. The University also launched an investigation into Batson’s role and placed him on administrative leave. However, Batson resigned from his position. In his resignation, Batson asserted that Seller’s comments did not reflect his views, but he acknowledged his failure to directly respond to the inappropriate content of the remarks at the time. He stated: “When suddenly and unexpectedly faced with such remarks, it is challenging to know how to appropriately respond.” He apologized.

University groups are seeking structural reform, including a formalized bias reporting system to create real change at the law school. The University issued a statement in response to the video: “This is by no means the end of our work to address the many structural issues of racism reflected in this painful incident, including address the issues through explicit and implicit bias, bystander responsibility, and the need for more comprehensive anti-bias training.”