According to Insider, a UCLA professor recently filed a lawsuit against the school after he was briefly suspended last year over his refusal to grade Black students more leniently amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

Gordon Klein, an accounting lecturer, said that in June of last year a non-Black student wrote to him to ask for him to grade his Black students with a “no harm” policy, meaning the results should only be counted if it boosted a student’s grade.

The student went on to refer to recent events including the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd and the COVID-19 pandemic, which they said had disproportionately affected the Black community.

“As we approach finals week, we recognize that these conditions place Black students at an unfair academic disadvantage due to traumatic circumstances out of their control,” the student said.

Klein said he believed the email was “deeply patronizing and offensive” to Black students, and he penned a sarcastic reply: “Are there any students that may be of mixed parentage, such as half Black, half-Asian? What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half? Also, do you have any idea if any students are from Minneapolis? I assume that they are probably especially devastated as well. I am thinking that a White student from there might possibly be even more devastated by this, especially because some might think that they’re racist even if they are not.”

Following the email exchange, students condemned his “woefully racist” response and started a petition to have him fired, which gained over 20,000 signatures in two days.

The dean of UCLA’s business school launched an investigation into the incident and briefly suspended Klein before reinstating him three weeks later.

But on Sept. 27, Klein filed suit against Dean Antonio Bernardo and UCLA in Los Angeles Superior Court for breach of contract, defamation, political bias, labor law violations, violation of privacy, and interference with his consulting business.

“From the start, my whole point had been that all students, irrespective of skin color, should be treated the same,” Klein said in his blog post.

Klein claimed that UCLA capitalized on the incident to distract from the school’s reputation of not being very diverse.

A UCLA spokesperson told Insider, “We don’t comment on personnel litigation matters, but we are looking forward to having the facts fully addressed through the litigation process.”