A college senior in Texas could miss out on one of the most important days of her academic life because of damning claims made by one of her professors. Now, some of Diamond Dominguez‘s classmates at Baylor University have come to her defense after she said racism is at the core of what she said are false accusations of plagiarism.
Just two weeks before graduation, Dominguez has to face the real possibility that she may not be graduating with her classmates at the university in Waco. In a video Dominguez posted to Twitter on Thursday, she talked how a two-point extra credit assignment that included an unattributed picture of a wooden floor that she did not take herself led to her professor crying plagiarism. But Dominguez said she believed the decision was steeped in racial undertones. Prior to finding out that she had been accused of plagiarism, Dominguez described a heated encounter with Dr. Trey Brown in March.
“I believe this is a case race retaliation,” Dominguez said on the video. “I am the only Black student in Dr. Trey Brown’s class, but the day I decided to eat food in class like many other students do, he screamed at me. After screaming at me I went to his office to discuss what happened. He refused to speak to me and called the police to have me escorted from his office. He got up from his desk and began to scream in my face. He forcibly shoved the door against me with my arm still in the doorway.”
Brown, who is a white environmental science professor, can be heard in a recording posted to Dominguez’s Facebook page urging her to leave his office and telling her that she was removed from his course.
The university honor council sided with Brown in April, but students have rallied against the decision. Last week the Black Student Coalition organized a march on the school’s administration building demanding justice.
“We wanted the administration to understand that this was an issue that needed to be elavated,” organizer Shevann Steubn told KCEN-TV on Friday. “It needed to be elevated immediately because not only is graduation 14 days away, but she’s been dealing with this for two months.
The school released a statement via Twitter on Friday.
On Twitter, students have been using the hashtag #Pressure4DiamondBU to show their support for Dominguez. One tweet purported to be posted by a student who was in the same class wrote that she would not feel right getting credit in the course. The tweet from the account of Hanna Saey also posted a picture of the letter she wrote to the Office of the Provost calling for equal accountability for an extra credit assignment.
The Baylor chapter of the NAACP also chimed in on the incident and said Sunday that raced-based discrimination has no place “in our society, or on this campus.”
See more support for Dominguez below: