Orange Coast College issued a statement on Thursday revoking the suspension of a student who recorded his professor’s anti-Trump remarks without asking her permission first, the reported.
“It is time to move forward with increased empathy and understanding,” the college’s statement read.
According to the , Orange Coast College student Caleb O’Neil was facing a semester-long suspension for breaking district policy by video recording his human sexuality professor, Olga Perez Stable Cox, in class. He was also tasked with writing an essay expressing his reasons for sharing the video and the ways it has been harmful to the campus environment as part of his punishment.
In the video, Cox criticized Trump, saying he is “attacking our sense of what it means to be an American,” and calling his election “an act of terrorism.”
She also called Mike Pence “one of the most anti-gay humans in this country.”
O’Neil said in a news conference that he recorded his professor because he felt “threatened,” according to the Orange County Register. He said he was worried his political beliefs would affect his grade in the human sexuality class, and he wanted tangible evidence should he be placed in that situation.
O’Neil showed the video to a Republican group on campus, “which complained to administrators that Cox was abusing the power of her grade book,” according to the Washington Post.
“Frustrated that the administration did not act on their concerns quickly enough, the Republicans posted clips of the lecture online,” the Post article said.
The video went viral, and Cox received malicious emails that, according to the Post, called her “Marxist,” a “nut case” and “vile leftist filth.” Cox left her home and her post at Orange Coast College after an email threatened to disseminate her personal information.
The president of the Coast Federation of Educators, a local union, was disappointed about Orange Coast College’s decision to allow O’Neil to return to classes.
“Faculty and students are less likely to explore controversial issues,” he wrote in a statement on Thursday, the Register reported. “Guest speakers are hesitant to present on campus, and students giving presentations are concerned that they may be cyber-bullied.”
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