An Indiana professor has been suspended after he called the police after a Black student declined to change seats during class last month.
In a statement released Thursday, Ball State University in Muncie said marketing professor Shaheen Borna will not teach for the rest of the semester.
Borna is Iranian.
"This decision is in the best interest of Dr. Borna and the University," the statement said, adding that Borna's departure will "eliminate any unnecessary distractions, and help our students complete the appropriate course expectations."
Sultan Benson, the student in question, was asked to move to another seat mid-lecture.
According to Benson, he usually sits at the front of the class, but was told by Borna to take a seat at the back of the class as another student was in his seat, "which was no problem for me," Benson said.
Benson said he was using a laptop that was plugged in and charging so he could follow a PowerPoint presentation. While he was typing away, another student left the class, and Borna asked Benson to move and sit in the empty seat.
He then questioned the professor's instruction. "I asked him why [and] he wouldn't give me an answer," Benson said. He said that he was advised by Borna to move seats, or he would call the cops on him.
Later, a responding officer can be heard telling Benson that he could either move or leave class, but Benson had still not been told why he had to move seats. He eventually left the classroom.
Following the incident, University President Geoffrey Mearns sent out a mass email, calling Borna's decision to call the police as "a gross error of judgment."
According to NBC News, Borna later apologized to students, and Mearns announced that he planned to meet with the school's Black Faculty and Staff Association and Black Alumni Constituent Society.