The white student who hurled racial slurs as she attacked a Black student over the weekend intends to withdraw from the University of Kentucky after a wave of fierce backlash.
Sophia Rosing, who was arrested over the weekend and slapped with several charges, plans to withdraw within the next couple of days, her attorney told NBC News.
“She’s a very, very embarrassed and humiliated young lady,” Fred Peters said. He added that Rosing would undergo sensitivity training after leaving the university.
On Monday night, a large crowd gathered near the Bowman Wildcat statue at the University of Kentucky Monday to show their support for the Black student who was assaulted, Kylah Spring. There, Spring vowed in front of hundreds of protesters that the incident would not silence her.
“Protect Black women!” the crowd chanted, according to a recording of the gathering posted by Betsy Spring, the student’s mother, on Facebook.
Dozens of protesters, many sporting UK’s iconic blue and white colors, held signs during the demonstration.
“Freedom 4 Spring,” one read.
Kylah Spring speaks to the @universityofky campus community who came out to support her in a march against racism this evening. Her parents were at her side as other students shared their experiences, too. We’re working on this story for @LEX18News at 11. pic.twitter.com/TUqib0vM5D
— Sean Moody 🎥🎙📝📺 (@SeanMoodyNews) November 8, 2022
“We are voices to be heard,” a student addressed the crowd. “Our voices are falling on deaf ears. The only way we are going to be heard is if we come together as a collective so that our voices can be the same and that we can have that say-so to get us through the various next levels.”
At one point, Spring, who was there with family members, walked forward to address the group.
“My name is Kylah Spring!” the UK freshman said through tears and loud applause from the crowd. “In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I was physically, verbally, and racially assaulted by Jane Doe, A.K.A. Sophia Rosing, a 22-year-old student here at the University of Kentucky. I was physically, verbally, and racially assaulted.”
“Since then,” she continued, “I have taken to social media to spread awareness, and I have grasped the attention of the nation and the world. …Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me through any social media platform. You’re the reason my story is being heard. It is our story.”
Spring pointed that racial discrimination was “a recurring issue in and across American school systems.”
“I’m deeply saddened by the events that have taken place, but I’m most grateful for justice that is to come,” she said.
Spring said she would not let the attack break her spirit.
“To my Black UK community,” Spring said through cheers in the crowd, “I see you, I feel you, and I stand with you. I matter, you matter, and we matter. We will be stronger.”
After invoking former first lady Michelle Obama’s infamous “We go high” speech, Spring told the Black community to maintain “this situation with grace and humility, and keep your heads held high and lean on each other as we heal ourselves and our community.”
Betsy Spring stepped forward after her daughter finished speaking.
“We are tired, but we will always find the energy, the resources, the time, the gas money to pull up for our children. Each one of you are our children. We thank you on behalf of…our entire family, we thank you for this support,” Betsy told the crowd in a video captured by University of Kentucky’s student-led newspaper Kentucky Kernel.
Rosing was arrested early Sunday morning for the assault, which was captured in video footage that has since gone viral. Students immediately began calling for Rosing’s expulsion.
“Today around 1 am, I was assaulted…and called a n—– repeatedly!” Spring wrote in a Facebook post that included videos of the attack. “This girl punched me in my face twice, [bit] my arm a few times, as well as kicked me in my stomach.”
As a desk clerk at one of the halls on campus, Spring noted that it was her duty to alert resident assistants if students appeared “unwell.”
“This girl was very drunk upon entry of the residence[,] so I asked if she was okay and continued to try and get her to sit down,” Spring wrote. “Also she doesn’t seem to be a resident so I tried to keep her from going in the elevator. My friend was also bit and swung at by this girl as well as a few others including the OFFICER.”
In the first video, Rosing is seen pushing and grabbing at Spring while repeatedly calling her a “n—– bitch.”
“I do not get paid enough for this,” Spring says as she tries to restrain Rosing.
One of Spring’s friends, whom she identified as Kansas during her speech Monday night, helps her try to move Rosing to a chair, with no success. Rosing then moves toward the elevator and continues to spew slurs at Spring, Kansas, and the person recording the incident. Eventually, a group of students intervene. One girl tells Rosen to stop and then exclaims she was nearly bitten by Rosing. Finally, a police officer appears on the scene and arrests Rosing, who continues to sling racial slurs all the way out the door.
All told, Rosing shouted the racist slur 200 times during the incident, according to the Daily Mail.
“An incident involving violence against our students, racial slurs and offensive language occurred in one of our residence halls,” University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto said in a statement Sunday. “We condemn this behavior and will not tolerate it under any circumstance. The safety and well-being of our community has been—and will continue to be—our top priority.”
“We will fully investigate what happened…but we also must learn from this moment and do better as a community,” the statement continued. “Let us take this moment, painful and ugly though it is, to remind ourselves of the work we must remain committed to as a community where everyone is welcome and feels that they belong.”
Rosing was arrested on public intoxication, assault, and disorderly conduct charges. The 22-year-old allegedly “kicked and bit” university officers during her arrest and refused to identify herself. She pleaded not guilty during a court appearance on Monday and posted $10,000 bail.