A black Minneapolis Community and Technical College instructor has appealed a reprimand over how she handled a heated debate with three white male students.
English instructor Shannon Gibney was leading a class discussion about structural racism when the students argued with her over the choice of topic.
They later filed a complaint.
Faculty union president Barbara Hager disputes a campus official's view that Gibney had created a hostile learning environment.
"I wish that the administration had gotten the chief diversity officer, the students [and] the faculty member in the same room so they could have talked about the situation rather than making it into a legalistic moment -- make it into a learning moment," Hager said.
Faculty have been asking for diversity training for years, "because they're frustrated," she said. "They don't know how to respectfully approach the racial differences between themselves and other faculty and between themselves and students."
A campus spokeswoman said she couldn't comment on the case, but said that the college strives to ensure a welcoming environment.