CSU disputes account of student going unpunished after calling roommate a racial slur

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston Southern University officials disputed details raised by the National Action Network Friday involving a student who reportedly went unpunished after using a racial slur against a roommate.

The school released the following statement Friday afternoon:

Charleston Southern University has addressed the student-related incident that occurred on February 28. Based on the evidence provided from both parties, CSU conducted an internal investigation in March.

Then, on June 2, at the request of the National Action Network (NAN), Charleston Southern officials met with Elder James Johnson, the CSU student and immediate family.

The information stated in a press conference today is inconsistent with the facts of the incident, based on statements from those involved. The administration continues to show a willingness to discuss any and all concerns with the families of both parties.

Charleston Southern University strongly opposes racism and any and all expressions thereof. Consistent with our core values, the university "engages and supports diversity related-matters."

Due to the fact that this is an ongoing inquiry, and to protect the privacy of our students, we are unable to share details in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

NAN called for meeting with the CSU Board of Directors at a Friday news conference over the incident.

"It breaks my heart to stand here today and speak about the racism that has been endured by the student." Tina Reddy with the National Action Network said.

Elder James Johnson, the parents of the students who was allegedly called the racial slur and a former CSU security guard spoke at a press conference in front of the university.

The former employee said she was making her rounds when she heard a student say, "N-----, turn the f------ light off," to another, and then found the girl crying. She said she tried to de-escalate the situation, but was also called the n-word by the other student's father, who was called on the phone.

"We got to change this. This is about love. It ain't about the color of your skin. It's about love for each other so that this business can stop." Barbara Sanjurjo, the former security guard said.

Johnson says the white student was not punished and a school official tried to justify the name-calling because the black student turned the light on, waking her roommate up. The black student was moved out of the room and eventually transferred.

The accuser's parents attended today's news conference. Walter Jones says his daughter was out late studying and came back to the room to go to bed. Jones says he met with CSU officials last week and did not get any satisfaction.

"As a Christian based school I am absolutely offended, I am absolutely offended." Jones said.

The National Action Network says it received two other complaints from CSU students and are asking any individual who experienced similar events at the school to call them at 843-708-0081 or 843-532-0787.

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