Smith College student who was racially profiled while eating lunch gets an apology
(CNN) — Smith College is apologizing after an employee called police to report a student of color who appeared to be “out of place.”
The student was taking a break from her on-campus job on Tuesday when a school employee called police to report her, the school said.
A campus police officer responded but determined the call was unfounded because there was nothing suspicious, the school said.
The school is not naming the student or the staff member but a woman identified herself as the student on several Facebook posts.
“I am blown away at the fact that I cannot even sit down and eat lunch peacefully,” the woman wrote. “This person didn’t try to bring their concerns forward to me, but instead decided to call the police. I did nothing wrong, I wasn’t making any noise or bothering anyone.
“All I did was be black,” she added.
CNN has reached out to the woman for comment.
‘Clearly, we have important work to do’
In a message to students, Smith College President Kathleen McCartney apologized to the student on Thursday and announced that the school is hiring a third-party investigator to review the incident.
“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.
“Clearly, we have important work to do going forward as a community,” McCartney added.
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.”
The private college in Northampton, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest and largest women’s colleges. Famous graduates include Julia Child, Gloria Steinem and Sylvia Plath.
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