Breaking News
More () »

WSSU student arrested after argument with her professor

Winston-Salem State University police say a student was arrested for disorderly conduct after getting into an argument with her professor and refusing to leave.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem State University's chancellor responded to an incident involving a student and staff member that is making the rounds on social media, saying police were called in to de-escalate the situation and they are looking into the matter. 

Here's what we know so far: 

A police report obtained by WFMY News 2 shows university police arrested WSSU student Leilla Hamoud for misdemeanor disorderly conduct on Wednesday. The disturbance happened inside a classroom at Carolina Hall. 

According to the police report, Hamoud was "arguing with her professor about an assignment." The report goes on to say she was asked to leave by the professor but refused. Hamoud was then asked by officers to leave but did not. 

News 2 spoke with two students that were in the class at the time of the incident. 

Tajamirah Russell and Daisy Ayona say they were in class Wednesday to present group presentations. 

Then they say a classmate, Hamoud and the professor got into an argument. 

"She asked her 'did you see what I just said about your paper Leilla' she said 'I did,' and she said 'Do you see what I said,' and Leilla basically told her she didn't agree with what she said she didn't have time to rewrite the paper," said Russell.

That's when students say things got heated between the two. "The teacher started yelling at her telling her how it's her class," said Russell. "Leilla did get loud back."

Another faculty member heard the conflict and called the campus police. The officer came in to speak with the two. 

Students say the professor insisted the police officer pull Hamoud out of class. The cop and professor then went to the hallway to talk and came back with a second officer. 

"He's listening to them converse and the teacher at this point going back and forth with Leilla again," said Russell. 

Students said the arguing continued with both wanting apologies. At this point, the officer starts to arrest her and the viral video picks up. 

"It was just a verbal argument that got out of hand," said Ayona. 

The students say they were disappointed by the way things played out and the force that was used. 

"He just wanted to arrest her and you see this on the news all the time. You see it happening in your classroom is really disappointing," said Ayona. 

Hamoud has court on January 25. 

News 2 reached out to the University's Communication Officer Haley Gingles, she said they have strict procedures for classroom management and all those processes were followed. 

She says there has been no change in the professor's work status and they are continuing to review the incident.

News 2 also reached out to the student involved in this incident but we have not heard back at this time.

WFMY News 2 is working to get more information from campus police, the university, and students about what happened. The chancellor's full letter to students is below. 

Here is Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson's full letter to students: 

As many of you know, there was an incident this morning involving a student and a faculty member that has escalated on social media. We now have more information regarding the event and want to share some key information with our campus community. 

Regarding the incident, the university has a process we must follow when there is a reported disturbance anywhere on campus. We received a report that there was a significant commotion in Carolina Hall this morning, and as such, a WSSU employee nearby called for the assistance of law enforcement after they tried to de-escalate the situation.  

In accordance with law enforcement procedures, our officer’s first priority is to assess the situation and provide every opportunity for a positive resolution. As situations escalate, their responsibility is to ensure the safety of the students, faculty, and staff members that are present. 

We understand that the weaponization of police is a prevalent problem in our community; however, that is not what happened in this incident. We strive for a safe, inclusive, thriving, and intellectual community where all our faculty, staff, and students feel respected and supported. To that end, we will take swift and appropriate measures against any situation that contradicts those ideals.  

We know this situation has caused a great deal of trauma to those involved and our campus community at large, but please know that every available resource is being extended to bring a resolution.  

We have coordinated several university departments in response to today’s incident, including the Office of the Chancellor, the Dean of Students, the dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, Business, and Education, and Police and Public Safety.  

Our staff is working diligently to ensure all resources are available, all processes are followed, and all grievances are addressed. While we would like to share all the details we have, under privacy laws (FERPA, personnel records) and to protect the process integrity, all information cannot be shared publicly.   

We know you want immediate answers; however, the speed of our processes does not match the speed of social media. Ultimately, we are committed to ensuring due diligence and fairness. We do ask for your patience as we must take the necessary time to ensure the safety of everyone involved.  

We greatly appreciate those of you that have reached out to express your advocacy and care for the university. Please be assured that we hear you and welcome all perspectives.   

As with any incident on campus, personal support resources are available. 


Elwood L. Robinson, Ph.D.

Before You Leave, Check This Out