The California college professor seen on video berating a student for supporting the police has taken a leave of absence after the footage went viral.
The unnamed Cypress College professor got into a heated argument with her student Brandon Ellis, 19, when he said police were “heroes.”
Ellis told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Saturday that he believed his teacher was trying to catch him in a “gotcha” moment, but he remained calm throughout the exchange.
“I think they are heroes, in a sense, because they come to your need and help you,” Ellis said on the video call. The professor constantly interrupts and talks over Ellis as he tries to defend his point following a presentation.
At one point the professor says she wouldn’t call the police if her life was in danger and the person had a knife or a gun because she ‘doesn’t trust them.’
The exchange drew enough backlash that the teacher ended up taking a leave of absence, and Cypress College released a statement in support of the exchange of ideas.
“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,” said a statement posted on the college’s website. “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 teacher as it turns out is an adjunct who had no intention of returning in the fall to teach more classes.
The teacher’s leave of absence will be “for the duration of her assignment at Cypress College,” according to the statement. Cypress College said it is reviewing the full exchange between the teacher and student and would more fully address it.
When asked if he was worried that the teacher might penalize him for his remarks, Ellis admitted that he did think of what would happen as a result of the exchange.
“When I saw the video recorded on our Zoom … by her, I was worried about my grade and worried about my class and my future at that college, but I think that students … shouldn’t be afraid to speak out,” Ellis said.
He urged students to use “gentleness” and “respect” when standing up for their beliefs.