VIDEO: NEIU instructor’s heated exchange with student gets physical

CHICAGO -- A college instructor was caught on camera cussing out and shoving a student Wednesday on the campus of Northeastern Illinois University.

It began when the instructor went outside to observe a protest that was going on---and soon after, unleashed on a group of students.

Northeastern officials say the teacher Kate Harris, is not suspended at this point. They said they are still looking into what happened and have not decided to take any disciplinary action at this time. She did not return calls and emails asking her to comment Wednesday night.

Things got heated between Harris and NEIU student Grace Jene Leonard, according to Leonard, while she and her friends were trying to have a counter-discussion outside the student union with a small group of anti-gay protestors.

“After I showed her my ID she came even closer to me and called me the ‘b’ word and started walking away and told me to go f myself,” Leonard said.

The students then followed the teacher, trying to ask her name, and captured the entire scene on camera. Eventually when Harris reached her classroom she forced Leonard out of the way before slamming the door shut.

“I tried to go in the room she elbowed me first then pushed me basically down and I fell against the wall and onto the ground,” Leonard said.

Aaron Schiffman, who is a student of Harris’, was back inside when she re-entered the room.

“She decided to keep going then the police came inside,” Schiffman said.

NEIU officials said they are looking into the matter, and will deal with it in an appropriate manner.

“I have been in touch with the university police and it is their preliminary characterization by that group that this is not a criminal matter,” said NEIU communications officer Michael Dizon.

Students say they’re appalled by this teacher’s behavior,  a woman who teaches interpersonal communication and public speaking.

“I  was shocked she would do something like that. She’s a good teacher. I usually have fun in her class but it was so immature,” Schiffman said.

“Violence is never ok. And the fact she used that disqualifies her from even working here,” Leonard said.