A student at California’s Orange Coast College (OCC) who filmed his professor late last year declaring that President Donald Trump’s election was “an act of terrorism” has been disciplined with a one-semester suspension.
The video went viral, allegedly resulting in death threats to human sexuality professor, Olga Pere Stable-Cox.
Caleb O’Neil has also received additional punishments for making the recording, including a mandatory meeting with the Dean of Students, before he is offered re-admission. He also must serve a disciplinary probation for one semester should he return from suspension. Additionally, O’Neil must write a three-page letter of explanation and apology to the professor.
If O’Neil fails to satisfy any of the requirements laid out by OCC, he faces expulsion from the Coast Community College District.
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OCC’s Interim Dean of Students Victoria Lugo sent O’Neil an email charging him with violating Student Code of Conduct against tape recording and unauthorized use of electronic devices in the classroom.
“Unauthorized recording is a serious violation of the Student Code of Conduct,” Lugo wrote. “This is clearly stated in the instructor’s course syllabus in addition to the student code of conduct.”
O’Neil has the option to appeal. If he does so, his punishments will be deferred until the outcome of an appeal is determined by a college disciplinary officer. He is being represented by Bill Becker, founder and president of FreedomX, a law firm that works to protect conservative and religious freedom of expression.
Becker declared in an email that the school’s actions were “an attack by leftists in academia to protect the expressive rights of their radical instructors at the expense of the expressive rights of conservative students on campus.”
Continuing, he wrote that O’Neill “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. 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.”
O’Neill and the College Republicans, of which he is not a member, seem unintimidated by the charges and prepared to fight them.
“OCC can’t continue its persecution of its students and their constitutional rights,” said Joshua Recalde-Martinez, president of the OCC College Republicans. “We haven’t backed down yet, and we won’t back down now.
H/T: Campus Reform
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