An Orange Coast College psychology instructor lamented the election of Donald Trump to her human sexuality class recently, saying “we have been assaulted, it’s an act of terrorism,” according to a video of the comments posted on YouTube earlier this week.
Olga Perez Stable Cox made her comments Nov. 15, the class’s first meeting after the election Nov. 8. It was recorded by an anonymous student and then published by the president of the community college’s College Republicans, Joshua Recalde-Martinez.
“The whole thing came about because the election had occurred within the last week. She began the class with this,” Recalde-Martinez told The College Fix in an interview.
The video shows the professor saying in part: “… white supremacist and a vice president that is one of the most anti-gay humans in this country. And so we are in for a difficult time but again I do believe that we can get past that. Our nation is divided, we have been assaulted, it’s an act of terrorism. One of the most frightening things for me and most people in my life is that the people creating the assault are among us.”
Cox went on to say the country is more divided than ever.
“We are way beyond Republicans and Democrats,” she said. “… [O]ur nation is divided as clearly as it was in Civil War times. And my hope is that we will get leadership to help overcome that.”
According to Recalde-Martinez, several professors made similar comments after the election, but this is the only incident caught on video.
“This is what is happens on college campuses,” he said.
The teachers union representing Cox wants to see the College Republicans and the student who took the video punished over the recording, Recalde-Martinez added.
“The union wanted to come after us and specifically that student for having recorded that video. The school is caught in a neutral zone,” Recalde-Martinez said.
Rob Schneiderman, president of the Coast Federation of Educators AFT 1911, told The College Fix via email that Cox is highly respected and encourages open discussions “on challenging and provocative issues.
“In these discussions she skillfully allows students to respectfully present their varying opinions. The inappropriately and illegally recorded lecture was no exception. Unfortunately, rather than take the opportunity to discuss the issues brought up by the professor, the student chose to secretly videotape the comments that they disagreed with and publish them to the internet. A classroom discussion would have been preferable,” Schneiderman stated.
“… Faculty expect students to be open to discussing new ideas and critically examine previously held beliefs, both liberal and conservative,” he added. “Faculty also expect this respectful dialogue to occur in a safe classroom environment where both students and faculty can speak openly without fear that their words or images will be surreptitiously recorded and widely disseminated.”
Meanwhile, conservative attorney Shawn Steel, the Republican National Committeeman from California, filed a complaint Nov. 30 with the college on behalf of the College Republicans over what Steel called “hate speech and bullying tactics,” the Orange County Register reports.
“She’s using her power as a teacher who gives grades, with a captive audience, to basically scare and shame students,” Steel told the newspaper. “It’s alarming. It’s scare-mongering. It’s irrational. It’s a rant. And it doesn’t belong in the classroom.”
The student who videotaped the instructor, Steel added, was “well within his or her First Amendment rights,” the Register reports.