Calif. Student Suspended for Taping Prof's Anti-Trump 'Act of Terrorism' Rant
In an Orwellian twist, a student at Orange Coast College (OCC) who filmed his professor's anti-Trump rant was suspended from his school, required to meet with the dean of students to "request...reentry," and forced to write an apology and a three-page essay explaining why he recorded the rant, the negative impacts of his recording, and how he will "prevent this from happening in the future." The student has appealed the decision.
"This is 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," declared Bill Becker, founder, president, and general counsel of Freedom X, who is representing the student. Becker announced that his organization will file a notice of appeal on Wednesday, arguing that the student's "constitutional and legal rights have been violated."
Caleb O'Neil, the previously anonymous student, was notified of his suspension last Thursday, February 9. On December 9, 2016, O'Neil published a YouTube video of Olga Pere Stable-Cox, his psychology professor.
In that video, Stable-Cox called then President-elect Donald Trump a "white supremacist," denounced Mike Pence as "one of the most anti-gay humans in this country," and called their electoral victory "an act of terrorism." She added that "we are way beyond Republicans and Democrats, we are really back to being in a civil war."
Given the harsh nature of these remarks, and the fact that O'Neil had reportedly worn Trump campaign t-shirts to class, the student 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," Freedom X reported.
According to the law firm, "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 the administration as evidence of his concerns."
The email which notified O'Neil of his suspension charged the student with violating the Student Code of Conduct against tape recording and unauthorized use of electronic devices in the classroom, Campus Reform reported.