Smith College: Police called to check on black student eating lunch

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts college president is apologizing after campus police were called to investigate a black student quietly eating her lunch in a common room.

Smith College President Kathleen McCartney said in a letter Thursday the college is hiring a “third-party investigator” to review the incident and said every Smith staff member will undergo mandatory anti-bias training.

Friday, the college announced that the employee will be placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Officials say an employee at the Northampton college called police Tuesday to report someone “seems to be out of place” in the building.

The school later said there was nothing suspicious. McCartney apologized to the undergraduate student, who is working as a teaching assistant this summer.

The woman, Oumou Kanoute, said it was outrageous she couldn’t eat her lunch in peace.

She added: “All I did was be black.”

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