JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Students at Jackson College say they have been subjected to racial discrimination and sexual harassment. But instead of action being taken against the accused, it is the survivors in the crosshairs.
Na’Tiyah Jones Montgomery claims that in August 2022, she witnessed a worker at Jackson College harass one of her friends.
“He asked how many people on the baseball team did you sleep with,” Montgomery told 6 News. “And he just kept asking and kept asking it and we tried changing the subject to music or something, and he just kept asking it. And it was like very uncomfortable.”
Her allegation is not alone. Sophomore Muhammed Sanyang says he worked with the same man and witnessed behavior that made people uncomfortable as well.
“For people he worked with, he would kind of get into their personal space, kind of get touchy, hand on the lower back, that kind of thing,” he tells 6 News. Sanyang never reported his observations.
Montgomery says she did. Three weeks later, Jackson College completed its investigation and found the claim did not match a specific definition of sexual harassment under the law.
“We did conduct our own evaluation internally,” says Daniel Phelan, president and CEO of Jackson College. “I have no evidence that supports that has happened.
Two months after filing her complaint, Montgomery says the college fired her.
She says she is concerned the college is trying to “hide” the allegations from the public and that concern led her to hold a protest two weeks ago.
“Instead of accepting it and holding people accountable and firing people, and you know making the right steps in the right direction to make the right change, they’re just trying to cover it up,” Montgomery tells 6 News.
Phelan says that’s not true.
“I do think that we are taking appropriate actions to be able to evaluate their claims,” he says. “However, as I mentioned the Board of Trustees will ideally hire a separate investigator and we will get to the end of that.”
The Jackson College Board of Trustees met Monday night with the possibility of hiring an outside investigator to review complaints related to sexual harassment and racism.