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Orange Coast College Suspends Student for Recording Professor’s Anti-Trump Rant

Prof said she would 'no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump.' But that's protected speech.

OCCCampus ReformA community college in California has suspended a student for a full semester because he recorded his professor calling Donald Trump's election "an act of terrorism" and leaked it to the press.

The student, Caleb O'Neil, must write a three-page apology letter to Olga Perez Stable Cox, an instructor at Orange Coast College who teachers human sexuality.

In a clip of the recording, published by Campus Reform, Cox says of Trump's election: "We have been assaulted, it's an act of terrorism. The people who committed the assault are among us, it's not some stranger coming in from another country coming in and attacking our sense of what it means to be an American." She also says she would "no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump."

O'Neil campaigned for Trump, according to The Orange County Register, and felt singled out by Cox's comments. He claims he was afraid his instructor would retaliate against him, and recorded her comments in order to demonstrate to administrators that this was the case. After growing frustrated with the administration's handling of the situation, he went public with the recording, which quickly went viral.

In response, Cox received a torrent of abusive messages from Trump supporters, forcing her to temporarily move out of her home.

The college now claims that O'Neil violated the student code of conduct, as well as Cox's syllabus.

"Unauthorized recording is a serious violation of the Student Code of Conduct," wrote Interim Dean of Students Victoria Lugo in a letter to O'Neil.

Does the university have the right to punish O'Neil? It's a little complicated. Most states permit the recording of private conversations, as long as one of the parties involved consents. But some states, including California, require two-party consent.

There are exceptions, however. Statements made in public might not be protected, since a speaker in a public setting doesn't necessarily have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Whether a university classroom counts as a public setting is legitimately debatable, as far as I can tell.

But O'Neil isn't being charged with violating the law—he's accused of violating university policy. Joshua Recalde-Martinez, president of the OCC College Republicans, tells Campus Reform that the policy is so broad that virtually everyone has violated it.

"Anyone who uses their phone in class is automatically violating that portion of the student code of conduct," he said.

Cox's syllabus also prohibits students from recording class proceedings.

O'Neil now has legal representation, and plans to appeal his suspension. His lawyer, Bill Becker says the school's actions amount to "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."

That's his argument. The school's argument would be that professors should have the right to declare their classrooms a zone of privacy, and O'Neil very clearly violated Cox's.

While I find the punishment a bit harsh, I'm having a hard time coming up with a reason to excuse O'Neil's behavior. Cox's anti-Trump statements might have been over the top, but as a professor at a public university who enjoys robust free speech protections, she had every right to make them. O'Neil's contention that he feared retaliation sounds very similar to claims made by leftist students that certain kinds of non-liberal expression make them feel unsafe.

Indeed, I worry that conservative students are already embracing the campus victim narrative and assuming that political statements they dislike are automatically targeted acts of intolerance. When students hear something that makes them uncomfortable, they ought to challenge it, rather than appeal to the authorities—regardless of whether they are conservatives or liberals.

Photo Credit: Campus Reform

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  • ||

    Page 1: Fuck.
    Page 2: You.
    Page 3: OCC cunts.

  • Quixote||

    Clearly two-party consent is a fundamental prerequisite for any kind of recording that could potentially damage a reputation. Inappropriately deadpan mimicry should require the consent of the mocked or impersonated party too, otherwise this form of "parody" can cause terrible damage to careers of distinguished members of the academic community. Surely no one here would dare to defend the "First Amendment dissent" of a single, so-called judge in America's leading criminal "satire" case? See the documentation at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Mollie the mare||

    Professor: "no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump."
    Robby: "Cox's anti-Trump statements might have been over the top, but as a professor at a public university who enjoys robust free speech protections, she had every right to make them."

    So I have the right to kick students out of my class because I disagree with their political affiliation, or just the right to say I will kick them out of class?

  • american socialist||

    My thought as well...what is robby suggesting here is free speech exactly.

    The kid violated the rules of the university and perhaps california with the recording. Fine have no problem with being suspended

    But the professor tells paying customers (some of whom may have supported Trump) that she won't tolerate them which means what? Yea that is pretty bad.

    If the prof gets fired or told not to kick out students she wont tolerate, that isn't violating free speech....she can't be really prosecuted for it however.

  • BambiB||

    And yet if an instructor stood up in class and announced that he would downgrade all female in his class, that would be gender-based discrimination - and he'd be gone in a heartbeat. But when an instructor threatens the students in their class based on their political beliefs - in fact, holds them hostage to the threat of arbitrary grade adjustment - stifles free speech, that's NOT a problem?

    At the very least, the instructor has shown herself to be incompetent as an instructor. She may well be guilty of threatening students - shall we call them "terroristic threats"?

    As for the recording - it's difficult for me to see how there's any expectation of privacy in an announcement made to a room full of people.

  • MikeT1986||

    My guess on reading between the lines on Robby: Professors are allowed political opinions, and allowed to rant. That's the cost of academic freedom. She has not actually done anything about those rants yet.

    It'd be a different issue if she started throwing people out of the class instead of having a meltdown.

  • american socialist||

    Good point and makes sense.

    After reading below im now on the fence of the recording leading to suspension

  • Mollie the mare||

    That was my take on what Robby was saying too. Generally, it's true free speech would cover ranting but not actions.

    That analysis misses because Professor was ranting during class, a time for which she is paid to do a very specific task by the state and the student's tuition. On top of that being a public employee limits, not enhances, the right to free speech. As long as we have agents of the state they should be required to maintain an air of impartiality. Thus things like the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Code of Conduct for United States Judges.

  • Jury Nullification||

    "Robby: Professors are allowed political opinions, and allowed to rant."

    It'd be a different issue if she started throwing people out of the class instead of having a meltdown.... that included threats and intimidation. FTFY

    Fence riders need to impale themselves or get the fuck off.

  • MikeT1986||

    It's a hard line to draw accurately when we try to cut down on the political speech of professors, and one that can get very messy.

    As a matter of personal principle and a former academic I would never have behaved such a way and always find it tiring/worrisome when people do. If you're that personally opinionated, how objective can your research be?

    I'm personally willing to tolerate professors having the freedom to overstep their speech rights than to try to legislate/regulate the opposite way, I just view it as the lesser threat to freedom.

    I might also, due to my background, value academic freedom higher than average.

    Personally if I was that professor's dean I would have a talk with them, and would also treat incidents like this as a probable cause to investigate for bias in the class room.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Professor: "We have been assaulted, it's an act of terrorism .., [by] people ... among us. [We] no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump."

    Student Trump Supporter: I think this professor has extreme animus towards me for reasons unrelated to classroom conduct and academic performance. It might be worthwhile to record evidence of this since rational, responsible people might not believe the degree of hate and vitriol that the professor has directed toward any person like me.

    Robby: "I'm having a hard time coming up with a reason to excuse O'Neil's behavior."

  • Garagefather||

    We "tolerate" those we disagree with or do not like which means we do not take action to harm them or deny them their rights. It does not mean we agree with them or appreciate who or what they are. It only requires inaction towards those people to be tolerant of them. Being able to disagree or dislike without using force is what tolerance is.

    People who are intolerant must therefore take actions against people they disagree with that involve harm or somehow violate their rights. Without the sue of force, there cannot be intolerance. So when a lefty speaks of not tolerating Trump supporters, it can mean only one thing: taking action to deny the rights of or to commit harm against Trump supporters.

    This professor said: "(she would) no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump." To any libertarian minded person, this is an obvious threat of violence and is not protected free speech. For a supposed libertarian writer to not see this blatantly obvious point is hard to understand.

    History is filled with examples of what the left does to those it cannot tolerate. They have well over 100 million graves to show for it. It would be wise for people to remember that and take them at their word when they decide to be intolerant of dissenting views.

  • ||

    "...She also says she would "no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump."

    "...While I find the punishment a bit harsh, I'm having a hard time coming up with a reason to excuse O'Neil's behavior."

    "...Indeed, I worry that conservative students are already embracing the campus victim narrative and assuming that political statements they dislike are automatically targeted acts of intolerance."

    Sooooo, a profesor proclaims she's intolerant and somehow you still make that third sentence?

    Keep it up, Soave.

  • Zeb||

    In this story, it's clearly a targeted act of intolerance (particularly if she knew the student was a Trump supporter).

    But the general point, is reasonable, I think. I can understand the temptation to join in with the identity politics BS, but trying to "beat them at their own game" is only going to perpetuate the damn thing.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Join in?

    WTF are you talking about?

    O'Neil is saying that we are no longer going to allow the rampant spread of identity politics targeting everyone who doesn't agree for punishment.

    This is fighting identity politics and victim mentality.

  • Agammamon||

    Does the university have the right to punish O'Neil? It's a little complicated. Most states permit the recording of private conversations, as long as one of the parties involved consents. But some states, including California, require two-party consent.

    No, its not complicated.

    Two-party consent is a *criminal* matter - not within the remit of the college itself.

    Two-party consent also ostensibly deals with *private* conversations where one or both the speakers have an expectation of privacy - which doesn't exist in public. And a classroom is public.

    Saying what the teacher said is not protected against other people finding out and said teacher having to deal with the social consequences - it only means that the law can't touch her.

    If its a violation of the student code of conduct - they would be able to point to the specific violation, right? Is there a blanket ban on recording lectures? Did the teacher explicitly ban recording lectures? Is there a coda prohibiting the embarrassment of teachers? Hell, the military has *that* (regarding embarrassing your seniors).

  • Illocust||

    A snippet definitely seems to fall under fair use doctrine, so not copyright. Especially when it's being used to prove a claim in a public setting.

  • Illocust||

    A snippet definitely seems to fall under fair use doctrine, so not copyright. Especially when it's being used to prove a claim in a public setting.

  • Zeb||

    The article does say that the syllabus for the course did explicitly say recording the lectures wasn't allowed.

  • Vitae Drinker||

    Ah, but he didn't record a lecture. He recorded her rant. So unless she is going to claim that "Will I tolerate people who voted for Trump in this class?" Is going to be on an exam, then she really can't claim it was part of a lecture.

  • WakaWaka||

    "Cox's anti-Trump statements might have been over the top, but as a professor at a public university who enjoys robust free speech protections, she had every right to make them"

    That is the crux of the argument. It is a 'public' institution and the same First Amendment rights that are afforded to the professor are afforded to the recording by the student. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure you cosmos go ape-shit when someone is arrested for recording the police and you make your argument based upon the First Amendment.

    The First Amendment trumps 'codes of conduct' and the 'syllabus'.

    What the hell makes half of these writers 'libertarian' in the slightest. Just because you don't like what he did does not allow you to ignore principle.

  • Sal Paradise||

    No shit. Reason is turning into the Daily Kos.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    I know it's almost impossible to imagine, but try to imagine if the shoe were on the other foot back in 2009:

    Professor: "We have been assaulted, it's an act of terrorism .., [by] people ... among us. [We] no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump Obama."

    Student Trump Obama Supporter: I think this professor has extreme animus towards me for reasons unrelated to classroom conduct and academic performance. It might be worthwhile to record evidence of this since rational, responsible people might not believe the degree of hate and vitriol that the professor has directed toward any person like me.

    Robby: "I'm having a hard time coming up with a reason to excuse O'Neil's behavior." Obviously O'Neil was within his rights to record the racist and fascist rantings of his professor.

  • Illocust||

    This, a reasonable person would interpret either scenario as the professor stating they are going to judge your work based upon who you voted for not quality. I'd have reported their ass too, and this professor definitely needs someone to at least sit in and judge their grades until they've proven they won't be biased.

  • Zeb||

    So, you're a time traveler and a mind reader?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Say, those are some damned fine tears.

  • Chili Dogg||

    He wrote "try to imagine"? Is that too damn hard to understand and do?

  • John C. Randolph||

    Sometimes I toy with the idea of going to college just so that some of these professors have a dissident in their classrooms who's actually had a job and knows when they're full of shit. Then, I look at the prices and say "fuck that noise."

    -jcr

  • The Last American Hero||

    You could always audit the class.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    +1 Ron Paul

  • Chili Dogg||

    When you get old enough, you can take classes for free at government universities. Then you can give them shit for free! (Well, free to you, at least, but not others.) OTOH, can a libertarian justify taking a class that others are forced to pay for??

  • The Grinch||

    Fuck you Soave, I'm certain this student and other students who are Trump supporters would get a fair shake from this professor. Jesus fucking Christ, this is just wrong and yet you insist on making excuses for it.

  • Juice||

    Goddamn. Is your class about politics? No? Then teach your class and shut the fuck up about politics.

  • John Titor||

    Non-STEM higher education can't collapse soon enough. At least then there will be a potential for reform.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    'She also says she would "no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump." '

    That is a threat.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Problem number 1 - that a JC is offering a class on human sexuality. It's a college, and the time to study human sexuality is at the college parties and bar scene.

    Problem number 2 - so if that kid wore a MAGA hat, I'm sure he'd be able to pass the course, even if he mastered the material, right? I wonder what the college's code of conduct says about professors discriminating against people based on their beliefs?

  • frangipard||

    Oh, she's probably savvy enough not to flunk him. But grade inflation being what it is, passing with a C or D will be enough to wreck his GPA and help him lose any scholarships he has.

  • Drave Robber||

    Olga Perez Stable Cox, an instructor at Orange Coast College who teachers human sexuality.

    'Teachering' is indeed different from teaching.

    (it appeared around 2000 but I still refuse to recognize it as a real word *shakes cane*)

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Too bad, so sad. If any teacher had said something similar about Obama or Hillary, they'd be hounded out of town and their job the same day, free speech and privacy notwithstanding. Buck up, snowflake: a classroom is a public space whether you like it or not, and this guy actually has reason to expect retribution for supporting Trump on a college campus, especially in California, especially from a teacher who says she can't accept any Trump supporter.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    A college professor has an absolute right to express her (or his) political opinions. If she does so in a classroom, she should have zero expectation of privacy, the college's 'policy' notwithstanding; she is saying it in an official capacity, she should expect to be recorded. She also has an absolute right to catch absolute hell if her public pronouncements piss off a substantial portion of the poor fools who pay her salary. So, she ran her ratchet jaw, somebody recorded it, and the public told her she was a blithering moron.

    Poor baby. Maybe she needs to take a job that doesn't involve so much public exposure.

  • Bra Ket||

    While I find the punishment a bit harsh, I'm having a hard time coming up with a reason to excuse O'Neil's behavior. Cox's anti-Trump statements might have been over the top, but as a professor at a public university who enjoys robust free speech protections, she had every right to make them. O'Neil's contention that he feared retaliation sounds very similar to claims made by leftist students that certain kinds of non-liberal expression make them feel unsafe.

    I wonder if you feel the same way about people who record the cops? Or is there some fast-talking logic by which you can rationalize recording one kind of abusive govt authority figure but not another?

    You said yourself he campaigned for Trump. He was directly attacked by her comments just like a closeted gay person would feel threatened listening to a person attacking gays as intolerable. It's quite a bit more real than the silly snowflakes who feel threatened by a history lesson because they suffer from some mental illness.

    Ooh here's a better analogy, muslims who feel threatened by Trump because he said he wants to block muslims from entering the country. Guess what genius, they kinda are threatened. Even there though, they extrapolate beyond what Trump said to some concentration camp silliness that won't happen. This teacher was specific.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    The student, Caleb O'Neil, must write a three-page apology letter

    If I were in his shoes this would be my apology letter:
    Page 1: "Fuck off, slaver" written over and over
    Page 2: A giant ASCI art middle finger
    Page 3: A photo copy of my ass.

    Then I would transfer to another school.

  • The Fusionist||

    "While I find the punishment a bit harsh, I'm having a hard time coming up with a reason to excuse O'Neil's behavior."

    Then you're not really trying.

    How about the fact that a public servant, who collects a salary from taxpayers and tuition-paying students, first violated her professional responsibility by giving a public political rant when she was supposed to be teaching other stuff, thus picking the pockets of the taxpaying and tuition-paying public.

    This same public servant proceeds to threaten to discriminate against people for their political views - imagine them saying "I will no longer tolerate [African-Americans]."

    She didn't have to be tricked into babbling this in a private conversation, she said it while she was on the clock and supposed to be teaching.

    To expand on Waka Waka's analogy, imagine someone recording a cop.

    If the setting is quasi private, because not any member of the general public can walk into a community college class, at the very least the setting is quasi-public, and this student is entitled to whisleblower protection for showing someone in the act of picking the public's pocket and uttering threats to engage in what looks like illegal behavior.

    You know, that wasn't hard at all.

  • straffinrun||

    It's very hard for Robby. You know that.

  • ScoobaSteve||

    It's like changing a tire, damn near impossible.

  • kinnath||

    Fuck the squirrels

  • kinnath||

    Robby. People have an absolute right to record public employees behaving badly in public forums. Period.

  • Billy Bones||

    Her name is Stable Cox? AND she teaches Human Sexuality? That is rich. I love it. Does she work part time in the porn industry with a name like that?

  • prolefeed||

    She also says she would "no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump."

    She explicitly said that she would punish any crimethink, any dissent on this matter, using a vague threat that would apply to the students. And, the university, when confronted with explicit evidence of this, punished the whistleblower and demanded that the student apologize in writing, rather than having a brisk talk with the professor about educating rather than indoctrinating.

    Is that so hard to figure out, Robby?

  • albo||

    If I were the student, I'd just be pissed that the person I'm paying through the nose to educate me is not doing that. And I hope I would have had the stones to stand up and tell her that. I'm the customer, after all. I don't let the plumber lecture me on non-plumbing issues, do I?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Gotta love Robby's dewy-eyed depiction of public universities as bastions of free speech.

  • ||

    In response, Cox received a torrent of abusive messages from Trump supporters, forcing her to temporarily move out of her home.

    Ah, yes, much like Brianna Wu was forced to move out of her home due to threats by those evil Gamergaters, instead of playing victim and going on a pre-planned European vacation, all the while the FBI thought those threats were not credible... possibly because Wu had been caught faking harassment against herself before.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Joshua Recalde-Martinez, president of the OCC College Republicans, tells Campus Reform that the policy is so broad that virtually everyone has violated it.

    "Anyone who uses their phone in class is automatically violating that portion of the student code of conduct," he said.

    Cox's syllabus also prohibits students from recording class proceedings.

    O'Neil now has legal representation, and plans to appeal his suspension.

    Unfortunately thanks to their overly broad policy and the fact that the instructor's syllabus specifically prohibits recording the class, I'm not sure he has much of a leg to stand on. I suppose maybe the argument could be that the school's overly broad policy and obvious selective enforcement of said policy is a breach of due process and rife for abuse, but that still leaves the instructor's prohibition on recording the class, which he clearly violated. Unless his lawyer can argue that a college classroom is a public space and therefor the instructor has no right to bar students from recording, but I'm not sure that would fly.

    Honestly, I'm not sure why he's bothering with fighting the suspension and not just taking the semester off and then transferring schools. Unless his suspension shows up on his transcripts and he's worried that he wouldn't be able to get into another school with that on his record.

  • Governor Squid||

    If nothing else, one hopes that his appeal forces the professor and the university administrators to go on the record defending the idea that students should be harassed based on their political beliefs. It might be enlightening.

  • Mr. Flanders||

    A professor straight up says that she is now officially intolerant of other people's political opinions (also insinuating that their opinions makes them as bad as terrorists) and Soave thinks the student is the one with a victim complex?

    Wow, Soave, you're a fucking moron.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Free speech is good, but you shouldn't have to "own it".

    Fuck you, Robby.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    O'Neil's contention that he feared retaliation sounds very similar to claims made by leftist students that certain kinds of non-liberal expression make them feel unsafe.

    It seems not really that he felt unsafe for his person, but for his grades. That seems a valid concern.

  • SoCal Deathmarch||

    A Primer for Robby Soave:

    How to change a flat tire on a modern automobile:

    1. Locate the spare tire in the trunk of your automobile. The spare tire is often referred to as a "donut". Remove spare from trunk.
    2. Locate the jack and lug wrench inside the trunk of your automobile. This is a metallic device, usually with a screw mechanism, that is designed to lift your auto off the ground.
    3. Loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire with the lug wrench by turning them in a counter clockwise direction (Lefty Loosie Righty Tighty!).
    4. Insert the jack underneath the auto adjacent to the flat tire. Make sure the auto is on flat stable ground and the jack is lifting the auto by its frame. There is typically a sticker on the jack to show you the correct placement. Using the opposite end of the lug wrench (it's a dual tool) screw the jack in a clockwise direction to lift the auto.
    5. Remove the already loosened lug nuts and pull the flat tire off the hub.
    6. Place the spare tire on the hub and hand tighten the lug nuts.
    7. Lower the auto to the ground by screwing the jack in a counter clockwise direction.
    8. Tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench by turning the nuts in a clockwise direction. Torque down the lug nuts fully by using a star pattern.
    9. Drive to nearest Starbucks, order a Venti Chai-Latte (non dairy), and text your fellow beta-males about how mechanically gifted you are.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Don't forget to put the flat tire in the trunk and if it's your car, get the flat fixed/replaced. Not like one of my coworkers who drove with a donut for months.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    As long as that recording was not edited in such a way as to massively distort or misrepresent the context and content of her words, the kid should be allowed to post any goddam place he pleases. And if she cannot stand behind her words, then maybe she would be well advised to be more temperate in her remarks.

    ps- Fuck you, Teen Beat Reporter.

  • frangipard||

    "In response, Cox received a torrent of abusive messages from Trump supporters, forcing her to temporarily move out of her home."

    BULLSHIT.

    Can we stop indulging this idea that everytime someone gets a shitty tweet they have an inalienable right to claim the noble mantle of victimhood?

    She was not "forced" to do anything. There was no gun to her head, her employer was not threatening to fire her, the landlord was not threatening to evict. Even if there were dozens of clear and concrete threats (which I highly doubt), she chose to move out.

  • Free Society||

    Even if there were dozens of clear and concrete threats (which I highly doubt), she chose to move out.

    For the sole purpose of adding drama.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    ...She also says she would "no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump.
    ...
    I worry that conservative students are already embracing the campus victim narrative and assuming that political statements they dislike are automatically targeted acts of intolerance.

    I'm not sure this is quite the same kind of "victim narrative" horseshit that leads to "safe spaces" for students that are "traumatized" by hearing a thought or idea they disagree with. It's not entirely clear what this cunt meant by "no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump." Did she mean that she was going to kick out any and all known Trump supporting students? Give them an F regardless of the quality of their academic work? Wait for them in the parking lot with a crow bar and wail on them? Probably not that last one, but you never know with progtards.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    If I were that kid, I'd certainly feel at least a little bit threatened. Getting an F or being kicked out of a class could tank my GPA, ruining my chances of getting into a 4 year college or graduating with whatever bullshit degree I needed to take "Human Sexuality" for. Sorry Soave, but trying to equate this to the usual safe space victimology horseshit is at best weak. This kid wasn't demanding a safe space so that he wouldn't have to hear a guest speaker at a voluntary event - that he could easily just not go to if he didn't want to hear - it's a professor insinuating that she may punish any student with incorrect political views.

  • Free Society||

    He's an equivocator extraordinaire. I'm finding it harder and harder to believe that Robby isn't a leftist foot solider himself.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What if a different student had recorded the exact same statements and put them on her facebook page with the comment, "This is my favorite professor. She is the smartest, bravest, most wokest humyn ever. I want to be just like her when I grow up."

    What do we suppose the punishment would have been in that case?

  • ATXChappy||

    "Cox's syllabus also prohibits students from recording class proceedings."

    Is a political rant in a human sexuality class really 'class proceedings'. It sounds to me like the professor violated her own syllabus.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    While I find the punishment a bit harsh, I'm having a hard time coming up with a reason to excuse O'Neil's behavior


    Of course you are.

    The fact that this is protected speech per 1st Am is completely irrelevant. Speech supporting white supremacy or hatred of gays is also protected. If you were a black student and your prof were the former you would still have very good reason to record vitriolic speech of this nature from someone who has power over you (which is definitely the case for a professor) -- particularly when your professor's rant is not relevant to class proceedings. Profs who are being paid for their speech and instruction in the classroom should be held responsible for this speech by their employers when it negatively impacts their job. If a Burger King employee made such a vitriolic rant while I'm trying to order a burger, he'd be reprimanded -- a prof doing the same when her students are at risk of being graded unfairly should hardly be treated differently.

  • Adam330||

    "While I find the punishment a bit harsh, I'm having a hard time coming up with a reason to excuse O'Neil's behavior."

    Here's this for an excuse: his behavior doesn't violate the rule the school claims he violated. According to the letter suspending him, the rule says: "Uauthorized Tape Recording: Tape recording any on District property or at any District function without that person's knowledge or consent. This definition does not apply to recordings conducted in public, in a commonly recognized public form." A classroom surely qualifies as public, so he didn't violate the rule.

  • Marshal||

    O'Neil's contention that he feared retaliation sounds very similar to claims made by leftist students that certain kinds of non-liberal expression make them feel unsafe.

    This is probably the stupidest comment Robbie's ever made. A comparable statement to that of the snowflakes demanding protection would be saying she doesn't support Trump or supports Hillary / Bernie. Further the demand for fair grading is different than demanding to never be in the presence of other students due to their differing beliefs

    Pathetically awful.

  • Trumptard||

    FACT: Robby is a silly, silly little boy. But we knew that already. So let's move on.

    The student will probably be suspended. He needs to smarten up and use the publicity to make some money. He should do the right-wing media blitz, sell T-shirts, do speeches, and/or start a "legal defense fund". I think he should be able to clear $25k from this in six months easily. That will buy a lot of dope, mountain dew, and video games.

  • grrizzly||

    Robby is now firmly on the other side. I'm very glad that I donated nothing to Reason last year. It's great to know that Robby didn't get even a penny from me.

  • Free Society||

    While I find the punishment a bit harsh, I'm having a hard time coming up with a reason to excuse O'Neil's behavior. Cox's anti-Trump statements might have been over the top, but as a professor at a public university who enjoys robust free speech protections, she had every right to make them.

    O'Neil recorded a professor speaking publicly in a public setting saying that they "will not tolerate Trump voters" and Robby can't think of one reason to excuse O'Neil's behavior because Robby agrees with the professor just like he thought the "Bash the Fash" is awesome.

    Robby might be the most useful idiot the left has. Luckily for him, he's only the second or third worst Reason contributor.

  • Lord Rollingpin||

    Could Reason just drop the 'Free Minds' claim from their masthead. It doesn't seem to really be part of their beliefs anymore.

  • esteve7||

    My first semester in a JC over a decade ago, actually my first day, my history teacher did nothing but rant about Republicans, said he would not be objective (basically write what I believe in).

    I had to check the actual article, but "it's OK to be Republican, but it's Hot in Hell"

    I did get a segment on Fox News for it. Wasn't officially retaliated by the school, but that was the only class I didn't get an A in that semester.

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    You'll always have the UVA Rape Hoax to your credit, Robby. Do you ever worry that you've already done your life's best work and you're only 30?

    Found this looking for Robby's age. Why would google search autocomplete to Robby Soave gay? Apparently there are some men other there that find Robby's hair irresistible, and not because they are hairdressers. Wait, there's a good chance that one or more of them are hairdressers, but you get my point.
    Robby Soave - fuckable libertarian.
    My favorite: I wish he'd stop sucking Ayn Rand's cock and start sucking mine.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "Caleb"?

    Sounds like a christfag.

  • Shahid||

    So, wanting to shut down speakers who have no authority over you is indistinguishable from not wanting to be unfairly dispagaraged by speakers who do. Noted.

    I'm personally unsure how professors making emotion laden diatribes, much less ones that explicitly target certain of their students, in any way promotes academic ends. If these professors want to do so on their own time to willing listeners, that's nobody's business but their own. But when speaking in front of their own class to students who must sit there listening respectfully, a minimum standard of reason should not be too mich to expect.

    (I wouldn't think that this would be too hard a concept for a "Reason" magazine.

  • ThrashMikki||

    Dear Mr. Soave,

    Presumably, you consider yourself to be a "journalist". If so, please, PROOFREAD your work BEFORE submitting it. Judging from numerous articles over the past few years with egregious grammatical errors that most freshmen English students don't make, this is an art that has been lost on "journalists".

  • Empress Trudy||

    I understand it's an unpopular PoV to espouse publicly but I really do believe that Olga Perez Stable Cox should be killed as a warning to the others.

  • cc2||

    A student in a class is under the control of the prof. If the prof feels vindictive, they can flunk that student. The student had a right to fear for his grades, especially since he campaigned for Trump. Profs can also blacklist a student, take away opportunities to work in the department, and refuse letters of reference. The claims of feeling "unsafe" by students in general is NOT in this same category since it is not about cases where the statements they fear come from someone in power over them. The prof by making these statements is not engaging in freedom of speech because they are forcing their ideas on the students who rightly fear to disagree. A classroom is for class material.
    A classroom is also a public space.

  • flicka47||

    Sigh...
    Maybe a little more context should be required. The election was in Nov., correct? The instructor went on her rant after the election. The semester ended in Dec.
    The student taped the rant because he felt she was going to retaliate against him. While it's NOT mentioned in this article, he did originally take the tape TO the school's administration, who did nothing. THEN he put the video on youtube.
    So, DID she retaliate? Is that why he took it to the school's administration?

  • Garagefather||

    We "tolerate" those we disagree with or do not like which means we do not take action to harm them or deny them their rights. It does not mean we agree with them or appreciate who or what they are. It only requires inaction towards those people to be tolerant of them. Being able to disagree or dislike without using force is what tolerance is.

    People who are intolerant must therefore take actions against people they disagree with that involve harm or somehow violate their rights. Without the sue of force, there cannot be intolerance. So when a lefty speaks of not tolerating Trump supporters, it can mean only one thing: taking action to deny the rights of or to commit harm against Trump supporters.

    This professor said: "(she would) no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump." To any libertarian minded person, this is an obvious threat of violence and is not protected free speech. For a supposed libertarian writer to not see this blatantly obvious point is hard to understand.

    History is filled with examples of what the left does to those it cannot tolerate. They have well over 100 million graves to show for it. It would be wise for people to remember that and take them at their word when they decide to be intolerant of dissenting views.

  • Julien Couvreur||

    In terms of principles, what is the difference between the student (1) reporting what he heard the teacher say, (2) transcripting the teacher's speech and publishing it, and (3) recording and publishing the audio and/or video?

    Do you object to all three (conservative students shouldn't tell on their teacher, they are tough unlike lefty snowflakes and should not resort to such tactics)? Or do you object specifically to the latter (audio/video recording)?

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