An Orange Coast College student is facing suspension after secretly filming his professor calling President Donald Trump's election "an act of terrorism," the Los Angeles Times reported. He is appealing the suspension.
Student Caleb O'Neil received a letter notifying him of the suspension and of requirements that he submit a written apology to the professor and an essay about the incident. Although the course syllabus prohibits in-class recordings, O'Neil plans to appeal the decision, "alleging that his legal rights have been violated," according to the Times.
A registered Republican who had worn Trump apparel to the class, O'Neil wrote in a notice of appeal letter that he recorded his professor’s comments because he was "terrified that [his] grade would drop to a B." He stated he did not think that others would believe what his professor said unless he could provide tangible evidence.
“I felt as if all eyes in the room were on me because in the past I have worn Trump gear and my signed Trump hat,” O’Neil wrote in the letter.
His professor, Olga Perez Stable Cox, called Trump a “white supremacist” in the video, which later went viral.
“Our nation is divided,” she was recorded saying. “We have been assaulted."
O’Neil's punishments will be deferred until his appeal is reviewed. Freedom X, the law firm representing the 19-year-old freshman, handles cases involving, "protecting religious and conservative freedom of expression," according to its website.
Cox received hundreds of threatening messages in phone calls, emails and Facebook messages after the video went viral, she told The Washington Post in December. Professor Watchlist — a list of professors accused of promoting a "leftist agenda" and discriminating against conservative students — added her name to its directory, which also includes Penn professors Anthea Butler and Regina Austin. Still, Cox said she would not change the language of her recorded comments.
“This is a very carefully planned plot to attack college professors that they don’t like and disagree with,” she told the Post. “This is being done all around the country. It’s not my fault, and I didn’t do anything wrong.”
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