Thursday, February 16, 2017
Tough (And Probably) Illegal Action Taken Against Student Who Recorded Professor
Student who recorded prof saying Trump election is ‘act of terrorism’ gets suspended
The college student who took video of a human sexuality instructor telling a class that Republican President Donald Trump’s election was an “act of terrorism” got suspended from the California school for one semester.
Caleb O’Neil also must meet with the dean of students of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa before he’s readmitted and then remain on disciplinary probation for a semester, Campus Reform reported.
In addition, he must write an apology letter to the instructor — Olga Perez Stable-Cox — and a three-page, double-spaced essay on why he recorded the video despite “knowing that it was a violation of the course syllabus” as well as his “thoughts and analysis” regarding why he made it public, among other stipulations, Campus Reform added, citing a disciplinary email.
If O’Neil fails to meet any of the disciplinary requirements, he could be expelled from the Coast Community College District permanently, the outlet noted.
“Unauthorized recording is a serious violation of the Student Code of Conduct,” Interim Dean of Students Victoria Lugo wrote, Campus Reform said. “This is clearly stated in the instructor’s course syllabus in addition to the student code of conduct. When we spoke, you stated that you felt badly about the things that had happened to individuals as a result of this incident. It is my hope that this experience will lead you to truly think through your actions and the consequences of those actions when making decisions in the future. As we discussed, the conduct process is part of the overall college learning process and I do believe that valuable lessons have been gained from this experience.”
Bill Becker, founder and president of FreedomX — a law firm that specializes in defending conservative and religious freedom — is representing O’Neil and told Campus Reform that his suspension is “an attack by leftists” and that an appeal will be filed.
“He was in fear of retaliation by his instructor after she launched into a half-hour rant in which she labeled Trump a ‘white supremacist’ and told the class she would no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump,” Becker wrote to the outlet. “O’Neil videotaped the rant over concerns that his grade might be lowered for the class because of his outward show of support for Trump. He intended to use the video to present to the administration as evidence of his concerns.”
Cox — who also called then Vice President-elect Mike Pence “one of the most anti-gay humans in this country” in the video — told her class that “we are in for a difficult time.”
“Our nation is divided, we have been assaulted, it’s an act of terrorism,” Cox said in the video. “One of the most frightening things for me and most people in my life is that the people creating the assault are among us.”
Later a pair of students claimed Cox told Trump supporters in the class to stand during the lecture, which they said was intimidating.
But Rob Schneiderman, president of the Coast Federation of Educators/American Federation of Teachers Local 1911, told the Orange County Register that after Cox said some would be happy with the election results — and a student stood up in approval — Cox then invited others to stand as well if they wanted.
After the video went public, Cox reportedly received death threats and temporarily left California.