Caleb O’Neil Orange Coast College suspended: Debate after a freshman plans to appeal a school’s decision to suspend him after taping a professor’s lecture.
Caleb O’Neil a 19 year old California student has been suspended after secretly filming one of his professors during a classroom lecture in which the teacher criticized Donald Trump, labeling his presidential win as an ‘act of terrorism’.
Do you suppose …?
The freshman at Orange Coast College was suspended a semester and a summer term and has now been required to apologize to his professor along with write an essay ‘explaining why he shot the video’ revealed the student’s attorney Bill Becker via CBS News.
In a press release the student revealed he intended to appeal what he described the ‘excessive’ punishment along with planning to file a lawsuit should the school reject his appeal.
Told the student’s lawyer: ‘We think this is a clear example of unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination that targets conservatives, and we’re going to challenge that’.
What if Bill Becker’s client was a liberal, would the lawyer still insist that his views were being discriminated against? Which is to even ask, would the school have suspended the student irrespective of his political affiliation and was simply acting out on what it presupposed was transgressive illicit videotaping?
Videos of Professor Olga Perez Stable Cox’s (see above) anti-Trump talk were posted on YouTube in December and then shared by the college’s Young Republicans group on Facebook — the clips have netted nearly 600,000 views across platforms.
Shortly after Election Day, Cox told her human sexuality class that Trump was a white supremacist, adding those ‘leading the assault are among us.’ The professor referred to Vice President Mike Pence as ‘one of the most anti-gay’ people in the country.
Do you suppose?
‘We’re really back to being in civil war,’ the psychology professor said as O’Neil recorded from his desk.
During a press conference on Wednesday, the freshman said he recorded the lecture to protect himself, KTLA reported.
‘I pulled my phone out, because I was honestly scared that I would have repercussions with my grades because she knew I was a Trump supporter,’ he said. ‘I thought Olga was a good teacher.’
Which is to wonder, next time any student fears their educator’s point of view or a discussion they raise, that they too should feel validated to film lectures, in the event their grades might suffer, for simply having another point of view?
Cox, who is known to engage her class with controversial hot topics, said she was only trying to comfort students scared by Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric aimed at Muslims, illegal immigrants and other minorities.
‘I had an international Muslim student who told me he was afraid to leave his apartment,‘ she told the Washington Post. ‘I cried with him and I felt so bad because he was so alone and scared.’
The professor, a self described ‘gay Latina’ who said she always speaks her mind, told of having received death threats in the weeks after the videos were posted.
Is this perhaps what Caleb O’Neil had secretly aspired to? To muzzle the teacher?
Reflected English professor Gary Hoffman: ‘College is a place to grow and learn how to engage in a world that has diverse and challenging opinions,’
‘As professors our job is to support students to think critically, be resilient, and learn how to form and articulate opinions. Unfortunately in this case instead the Orange Coast College Republican Club – hopefully not supported by their advisers – resorted to cyberbullying.’
Told Cox: ‘Now at 66, I’m paranoid,’
‘I feel like I’ve been attacked by a mob of people all across the country.’
Denouncing the decision to suspend the freshman, Fred Whitaker, chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County, criticized the school.
Told Whitaker: ‘This abhorrent decision from the Orange Coast College administration clearly affirms their disdain for one of our nation’s most cherished freedoms: freedom of speech,’
‘The Republican Party of Orange County categorically opposes this administration’s attempt to trample over its students’ civil rights and we will be doing everything in our power to support Caleb O’Neil in his effort to appeal the decision.’
The investigation into Cox’s comments is ‘ongoing’ and the professor continues to teach her three classes on human sexuality, according to a press release. Indeed.