One California college student will have time to pursue other interests this spring as he was suspended for a semester after recording and posting on Facebook a bigoted anti-Trump rant.
Student Caleb O’Neil, who supported Donald Trump during the election, has indicated that he feared retaliation from his instructor, Orange Coast College Professor Olga Perez Stable Cox, as she launched into an extended anti-Trump rant during class. O’Neil became concerned when Cox stated that she would “no longer tolerate any person who voted for Trump.”
The diatribe was not only anti-Trump, but anti-conservative as she can be heard in the video calling Vice President Mike Pence “one of the most anti-gay humans in this country.”
According to the letter O’Neil received from Orange Coast College regarding the incident, he is being reprimanded for recording the professor which was not allowed according to the class syllabus and the college’s Student Code of Conduct.
The state of California is also one of the few “dual consent” states requiring the consent of both parties to being recorded for it to be legal, unless in public.
The rules O’Neil has been cited for disobeying is laughable in today’s smartphone age.
43. Unauthorized Tape Recording. Tape recording any person on District property or at any District function, including but not limited to, classes, lectures, labs, and field trips.
46. Unauthorized Use of Electronic Devices. Unauthorized use of electronic devices on District property or at any District function, including but not limited to, classes, lectures, labs, and field trips.
This isn’t 1986, or even 1996 for that matter. The president emeritus of the College Republicans group, Joshua Recalde-Martinez, stated the obvious issue in the late date of 2017:
“Even I myself could pretty easily violate the electronic device recording statute. Anyone who uses their phone in class is automatically violating that portion of the student code of conduct,” Recalde-Martinez argued.
As I doubt students are having their phones slapped out of their hands regularly by college staff, it seems clear that the school’s issue with the recording wasn’t that O’Neil had his phone out but that he had the audacity and forethought to recognize an unhinged professor and obtain proof of what was happening in her classroom.
Following the incident, the professor’s union threatened to sue O’Neil and he’s relied on a law group, FreedomX, to navigate the issue and the support of the college’s Republican student group.
O’Neil has until today to comply with the requirements set out in the disciplinary notice, which includes a 3-page mea culpa he must write and submit, or face expulsion.