A California professor who confronted a student about his view that police officers are heroes has taken a leave of absence.
The adjunct professor was recorded arguing with Braden Ellis, a 19-year-old student, at Cypress College in California. The recording and transcript of the Zoom class were first published by The Daily Wire.
“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,” Marc Posner, the school’s director of communications, said in a statement.
“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,” Posner added. “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.”
After Ellis gave a presentation on cancel culture to the class, the unidentified professor used the question and answer session to confront him about his views about police. Ellis alleged that the police departments in the United States stem “from people in the South wanting to capture runaway slaves.”
When another classmate interjected that police officers should not be heroes who appear in kids’ shows, Ellis said he disagreed.
“I think cops are heroes and they have to have a difficult job. But we have to—” Ellis said before the professor interrupted, asking, “all of them?”
“I’d say a good majority of them. You have bad people in every business and every—” Ellis responded, before the professor interrupted again.
“A lot of police officers have committed atrocious crimes and have gotten away with it and have never been convicted of any of it,” the professor said. “And I say [it] as a person that has family members who are police officers.”
One of the largest surveys on freedom of speech on college campuses released last year found that 60 percent of student “can recall at least one time during their college experience when they did not share their perspective for fear of how others would respond.” A sizable minority, 42 percent, believe their college would not defend them in case of a controversy over a view they expressed.
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