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Questions remain regarding the exchange between a Cypress College student and a ‘woke’ adjunct professor

The Orange County Register has published three articles following the release of a video showing an adjunct professor at Cypress College interrupting and berating a student during his presentation on so-called “cancel culture” that included his support of police.

Here’s the video:

Here are the articles:

Two statements from Cypress College are at the bottom, taken from the Cypress College website.

I am sensitive to framing — what cannot be seen as well as what is carefully contained within a frame, plus after-the-fact editing. Entirely different stories can emerge from looking one direction rather than another, or examining one piece of a topic to the exclusion of other pieces.

For that reason, and because the video seemed to present the student as a perfect victim of unprovoked attack, I wanted to watch a video of his entire presentation and I wanted to find out how the Daily Beast acquired the much shorter edited version that went viral.

When I asked about these questions, a spokesman for Cypress College directed me to the statements published on the College’s website without offering any new information.

Without this framing information, I cannot make an informed decision on whether the student is a victim of a bullying professor, or whether the professor walked into a trap laid by a conniving self-promoting student.

Original statement from Cypress College regarding the incident on April 30

Cypress College takes great pride in fostering a learning environment for students where ideas and opinions are exchanged as a vital piece of the educational journey. Our community fully embraces this culture; students often defend one another’s rights to express themselves freely, even when opinions differ. Any efforts to suppress free and respectful expression on our campus will not be tolerated.

The adjunct professor will be taking a leave of absence for the duration of her assignment at Cypress College. This was her first course at Cypress and she had previously indicated her intention to not return in the fall.

We are reviewing the full recording of the exchange between the adjunct professor and the student and will address it fully in the coming days.

Subsequent statement from Cypress College on May 7

Cypress College remains committed to protecting the individual rights of all those in a class video circulating in the media and acknowledges the importance of an objective review process that will help us understand the full context of this situation. We hope to bring closure to this matter in the weeks to come.

Throughout this process, we have done the right thing for the right reasons. In this case, the right thing has been honoring the request of the faculty member in the video to protect her identity for her own safety. The decision to remove her from the classroom was done to protect her safety, maintain her confidentiality, and mitigate attacks from those who sought to threaten her as well as the students in her class.

During the past week, Cypress College has worked closely with our partners in the Cypress Police Department. Out of an abundance of caution, the college elected to pause its limited on-campus operations on Monday, May 3, 2021, as a result of a threat directed at the campus community. Some on-campus activities resumed the following day and the normal pandemic-level operations were fully restored by Wednesday. Our campus IT department continues to monitor attempts to compromise our technology security, and several emails, social media comments, and other correspondence have been referred for examination throughout the week.

Cypress College has supported and will continue to support the academic freedoms we know are essential in an institution of higher learning. Equally important is our mission to serve our students in a safe learning environment. Our faculty remain committed to a culture that fosters a free exchange of ideas in the classroom while supporting the educational needs of our students. We are proud to provide an inclusive and welcoming educational environment — especially for those students whose only access to higher education is through the community colleges.