BREAKING: Student Suffers Seizure, Professor Continues Lecture

Nanci Avalos Omaña

John Jay’s Public Safety officers and paramedics rushed to NB 1.125 where a student was having a seizure in the back of the classroom as the professor continued his lecture.

Students in the first-year seminar were upset at the way Mark Alpert, adjunct professor in the English department handled the situation.

“One of the kids had a seizure and then one of the students, the counseling student, he went to call public security,” said Brianna Misfud, a freshman student who was in the classroom during the incident.

Misfud was referring to Devin Deane, a Peer Success Coach, who alerted Public Safety.

According to Misfud, Alpert first tried to help but once “there were people there to help him,” he continued to teach.

“While he was seizing he was like ‘alright guys ummm, look at this’,” said Andressa Lisboa, a freshmen student also in the classroom during the incident. “I felt so uncomfortable.”

Mia Dusevic, a senior who took Alpert as a professor in the Fall 2017 was sitting in Hound Square when Alpert approached her asking what he should have done.

“I said you should have respected the student’s privacy and evacuate the classroom and found a different location to continue class or just end class and he was like ‘Oh okay, I didn’t really know,” Dusevic said.

“Don’t take away from the fact that these students are triggered,” said Natalie Segev, a junior who witnessed the incident. “They just had to sit in the room and watch that.”

The Sentinel reached out to Public Safety who declined to comment and Mark Alpert who also declined to comment and redirected the Sentinel to Christen Madrazo, the head of the Writing Program at John Jay.

The student was carried out by paramedics.

Following the day of the incident, President Mason sent out an Important Announcement to the John Jay community regarding “student illness in classroom.”

“Thank you all for your compassion and caring during this difficult situation,” she said in the statement. “We are also currently reviewing the incident and how it was handled. Through this evaluation process, we will identify which steps and measures were successful, and which procedures and actions need to be improved upon.”

President Mason also took this opportunity to inform the John Jay community of the campus security number.

“If you see a classmate or anyone in our community in distress or in need of help, please contact the Office of Campus Security at 212-237-8888.”


This continues to be an ongoing story.

Video provided to the Sentinel by Mia Dusevic.