KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A University of Missouri-Kansas City graduate student is suing a professor that she said addressed her in a classroom using a racial slur and other expletives.
The discrimination lawsuit filed by student DeLana Sattarin names sociology and criminal justice professor Peter Singelmann and the University of Missouri System curators as defendants.
Satttarin claims that the January incident led her to drop out of Singelmann's Globalization and Developing Nations class, which resulted in her not having enough credit hours to graduate in May.
In a report compiled by UMKC Affirmative Action Director Grace Hernandez, Singelmann admitted using the racial slur several times during the Jan. 18 class. However, according to the report, he claimed he used the term only to make a point during a discussion with students about free speech.
Singelmann did not return phone calls Thursday left for him by The Associated Press at his office and home. Sattarin and her attorney, Larry D. Coleman, also could not be reached for comment.
According to the lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court, a lecture on totalitarian and authoritarian societies led to a discussion about the Patriot Act.
Sattarin, who is Black, commented that the act should never have been passed because she felt it violated people's rights.
The lawsuit claims that professor Singelmann reluctantly agreed with Sattarin and then took his comments further, using the racial slur three times and following up with other expletives.
Sattarin filed a complaint with the university. At least two of her classmates also wrote letters complaining about the incident. An investigation by Hernandez, the affirmative action director, followed.
In April, Hernandez said she had concluded that Singelmann's comments were insensitive, but that the Affirmative Action Office could not substantiate the racial discrimination claim.
Sattarin was reimbursed the tuition for Singelmann's class.
According to Hernandez's report, Singelmann "expressed regret for having hurt and offended students and promised that he would not use the N-word in its full form in the future."
Singelmann was ordered to write an apology, given a letter of reprimand and required to attend sensitivity training, according to the report.
Sattarin, in the lawsuit, claims the professor's apology was weak and nothing more than an "inverse justification" of his comments in class that day.
--The Associated Press