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According to a press release, a former Chicago State University female student is speaking out for the first time, about the ways the publicly funded “teacher training college” uses taxpayer money to protect abusive professors and intimidate its students.

According to the woman’s lawsuit, she was physically assaulted in class by her Digital Field Production professor, Donald Winter, in February 2017. After Professor Winter told the class of adult students to quiet down, he singled her out, and accused her of talking. When the woman told him that she was not talking, he approached her, grabbed her desk and dragged it across the classroom floor. He then grabbed her, pulled her out of her desk and physically threw her out of the classroom. The female student immediately dialed 311 and reported the incident to the school. She was also treated for bruising, which her school health insurance policy refused to cover.

This incident was not Professor Winter’s first display of hostility towards female students. In fact, he even bragged about abusing women with impunity. One female student posted on social media, “I am not sure what’s with his hatred for Black women,” and shared that Professor Winter once told her, “I always win, ask your friend Brittany.” The woman’s classmates told her that they were afraid to give witness statements because they feared that Professor Winter would punish them by giving them a poor grade.

This woman’s complaint to the school about Professor Winter was not the first. Another female student posted on social media that, not only did she complain to the Department Chair about him, she also filed a formal complaint with the school.

Despite Professor Winter admitting to both Chicago State Police and school administrators that he physically assaulted the student, he was still allowed to continue to teach and was offered another teaching contract, in August 2017, with an annual, taxpayer-funded salary of $53,000. 

The female, who was taking classes in the Department of Communications, Media Arts & Theatre (CMAT), on the other hand, was required to finish the class remotely. Chicago State officials also attempted to intimidate the woman into signing an agreement promising not to sue. She refused to sign the document and filed suit.

In an effort to protect itself and Professor Winter, Chicago State is spending tens-of-thousands of taxpayer dollars to fight the lawsuit. In fact, between June 2018 and May 2021, Chicago State paid its defense firm almost $49,000 in legal fees. The predominantly Black school, whose President is currently Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott, Esq. State University, reportedly had an 11% graduation rate in 2016.The woman eventually graduated with tens of thousands of dollars of school debt and has yet to find employment in her field.

The woman is represented by the Law Offices of Johanna J. Raimond. For media inquiries, please contact Ms. Raimond at 312-498-5159.

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