Police arrested a Black student on the campus of Winston-Salem State University Tuesday (Dec. 13), allegedly for not apologizing to a white professor, Yahoo! News reports. According to the outlet, the issue was between Dr. Cynthia Villagomez and pupil Leilla Marie. The former reportedly called campus police on the student after she refused to correct her final presentation.
Viral videos of the incident surfaced on various social media platforms, showing a handcuffed Marie being roughly handled by the police. Marie, a Black student, continuously screamed, “I hate you” toward Villagomez, a white professor, before police removed her from the classroom. According to documents from the Forsyth County Magistrate’s Office, the 20-year-old is facing a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct. Her court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2023 at 9 a.m.
Law enforcement eventually released Marie “with bruises and a second-degree misdemeanor,” Yahoo! News adds. She then reportedly went to her Instagram Live to explain her side of the story, chronicling the details that led to the disagreement. Marie claimed Villagomez told her on short notice that her group project was incorrect and needed to be revised. The project was due to be presented on the same day. Marie declined to correct her final assignment and still wanted to present her project with her group, despite Villagomez telling her it would “greatly impact” her grade.
According to NewsOne, Marie claimed the argument between her and her professor stemmed from Villagomez telling her to leave the classroom. Marie refused to leave, and they began yelling at each other. Villagomez reported the incident to another professor, which led to the on-campus police being called.
Winston-Salem State students were outraged by the incident. Many who shared their recordings also voiced their opinions on what took place.
“A white professor at Winston-Salem State University, an HBCU, had a student arrested this morning for not apologizing to her after she raised her voice in response to the professor raising her voice first,” said one person who tweeted the video.
A white professor at Winston Salem State University, an HBCU, had a student arrested this morning for not apologizing to her after she raised her voice in response to the professor raising her voice first. pic.twitter.com/0Useo1bY4d
— 🍒 (@stillnotziora) December 14, 2022
The university is still reviewing the incident and issued a statement regarding the viral footage:
“We are aware of the video circulating on social media involving a student in a classroom. The incident is under investigation. Our highest priority is the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Currently, there is no immediate threat to our campus.”
— WSSU (@WSSURAMS) December 14, 2022