Associate Professor Stephen M. Kajiura was reviewing with his evolution class in GS 120 for a midterm when FAU student Jonatha Carr interrupted him: “How does evolution kill black people?” she asked. Kajiura attempted to explain that evolution doesn’t kill anyone.
And then, Carr became violent.
A fellow classmate, Rachel Bustamante, was sitting behind Carr prior to her outburst and noticed she had been avoiding looking at the professor until 11:35 a.m. — that’s when she snapped. The classmate reported that Kajiura was discussing attraction between peacocks when Carr raised her hand to ask her question about evolution. She asked it four times, and became increasingly upset each time Kajiura’s answer failed to satisfy her.
A video taken by Bustamante shows Carr ranting and threatening to kill the professor and several students. At this point, the witness who contacted the police claimed, “No one was comfortable in the room. I realized the situation was escalating and went out to call the police.” Seconds later, Carr walked down an aisle of the classroom and slammed the palm of her hand into the forehead of a male student.
Kajiura stayed in the room, trying to keep the class calm, while a few students stepped out to call police. “She became increasingly belligerent,” he said. “It was at this point, a highly emotionally charged individual who was no longer capable of responding rationally. She was threatening to kill both me and the students in the class.”
Then Carr made her way to the back of the classroom. “Some [FAU technician] came in and ordered her to get out,” Kajiura said. “He ordered her to leave the room, and they got into a physical altercation. Several other individuals jumped in and tried to help him.”
Kajiura said he didn’t recognize Carr prior to her outburst, but after looking through his records, he found that she emailed him right after Spring Break. “She had sent me a very nice email asking about one of the lab problems,” he said.
The professor mentioned the entire ordeal took no more than 10 minutes, and he went back to lecturing, although only half the class remained. “No one could concentrate,” Bustamante said. “Everyone gave up and started texting.”
Bustamante gave the professor a copy of the fight, which she recorded on her cell phone and posted on Facebook and YouTube. Kaijura went on to praise his students, claiming they were “Absolutely fantastic. They acted responsibly.”
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Correction: The UP initially reported that Jothana Carr assaulted and was removed from Stephen M. Kajiura’s class by a FAU technician. The UP has since learned that she assaulted Justin White, director of the Spanish language program, and that White was one of the men in the video seen escorting Carr from the evolution class.