When I was an undergraduate student studying political science at Cal State Fullerton, I once had a professor declare — in front of the entire class — that I would end up in prison, because Jesus gave her “the power of prophecy.” And unless she was genuinely clairvoyant (and since I have not yet been incarcerated, I’m guessing not) she made this prediction knowing only that I was a student in her “American Political Behavior” class, a Republican, and lived in Orange County.
From that point on she used her professorial platform to spread left-wing conspiracy theories, which included blaming the Los Angeles riots on “the Jews,” and punished her political enemies by giving them bad grades.
Unfortunately all this happened in the days before smart phones, or it would have been Tucker Carlson’s A-block on his Fox News show.
Now it happily turns out that learning American politics from a crazy person was an excellent primer for my career as a cable news pundit; but thanks to technology, screeching professorial meltdowns of this kind no longer happen in a vacuum — they occur on camera.
That’s exactly what happened at Orange Coast Community College, when human sexuality professor Olga Perez Stable Cox decided to ditch her post-election psychology lecture in favor of a full-on diatribe directed at President Donald Trump and any students who might support him.
Cox called the election “an act of terrorism,” said Trump was a “white supremacist,” and insisted that “those leading the assault are among us.” Additionally, the professor asked all of the Trump supporters in the room to stand up and be accounted for.
In response, OCC announced that it’s suspending the student who recorded the tirade, Caleb O’Neil, and won’t say if they’re reprimanding Cox, because they consider employment matters to be private.
In addition to the suspension, OCC has required O’Neil to write a letter of apology and a three-page essay explaining his decision to record Cox, share it publicly and discuss “the impact of the video going ‘viral’ and the ensuing damage to Orange Coast College students, faculty and staff.”
On the subject of whether or not O’Neil was right to bring a recording device to class, the school is self-serving and hypocritical.
As far back as 2009 OCC has issued recording devices to school police deputies so they could tape their interactions with students and faculty. OCC spokesman Sean Bennett said the school wanted them because, “If there’s concern over an incident, then we have video to verify what happened. ... It’s a tool you can use to get unbiased video and decide where to go from there.”
In other words, they want the evidence, but only if it backs up their story line.
Plus, if you want to get super technical about who violated the rules, Cox was hired to teach psychology ... not drama.
Make no mistake, the college, its president Dennis Harkins and the entire Board of Trustees are placing the interests of an out-of-control professor above the well being of their students.
The OCC “brain” trust has proven that they’re better equipped to run a Soviet style re-education camp than a community college funded by the taxpayers.
Here’s what should happen:
• OCC should immediately rescind its suspension of O’Neil and write him a letter of apology.
• Professor Cox should be fired for being a bully, thug and just bad at her job.
• President Harkins should be fired for serving as Cox’s enabler and signing off on O’Neil’s outrageous punishment.
• And if they don’t overrule Harkins and demonstrate that they provide a safe and open learning environment for students with all points of view, the Board of Trustees should be recalled.
A lot has changed since I was a student at CSUF, but the nutty professors are still the same.
John Phillips is a CNN political commentator and can be heard weekdays at 3 p.m. on “The Drive Home with Jillian Barberie and John Phillips” on KABC/AM 790.
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