MATC student claims racial slur found in online grading system
Jermont Terry and the I-TEAM investigate how one MATC got a surprise when logging on to check her grades. Video by tmj4.comvideo
WEST ALLIS - Erica Hughes is a nursing student at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Hughes said she never expected to find a racial slur next to her name when she logged on to take an online exam at the West Allis Campus. She called the I-TEAM asking us to get some answers into how something like this could happen.
On Feb. 7, 2013 the words "Dumb N" were typed out next to Hughes' name. Hughes had accessed a computer at the student center at MATC. But when she got into the college's online grading system, called blackboard, she said she couldn't believe her eyes.
"It shocked me then I cried. Nobody should have to deal with that. It's just not right," explained a sobbing Hughes. "They claim my page was hacked. If it was I would like to see proof."
Hughes insisted she did not go into her profile and change the user name. She questioned if her professor was involved.
"We need to be thorough so we don't rush to a conclusion," said Kathleen Hohl.
Hohl is the communication specialist with MATC. Hohl said the college is working to determine how the slur got there but it doesn't appear it would have occurred from a computer glitch. MATC will review records, check with the instructor and verify if anyone else had access to Hughes' account.
However, Hughes has already filed a discrimination complaint against the college. MATC transferred Hughes into a different class with a different professor. As for Hughes, she's determined to get answers.
"We shouldn't have to go through this it's 2013" said Hughes. There's no word how long MATC's investigation will take.