Reiff: OCC Controversy Debate: Faculty Rights, Conservative Push Back

OC lawyer and GOP activist Shawn Steel said he has just begun to fight what he calls an intolerant and even dangerous environment for conservatives on college and university campuses.

“Right now free speech is a limited availability on most campuses if you’re a conservative,” Steel said on “Inside OC with Rick Reiff.” But he added, “Now the push back takes place.”

Steel, former chairman of the state GOP, was one of the lawyers who intervened on behalf of Orange Coast College student Caleb O’Neil, who secretly recorded a professor’s anti-Trump tirade that went viral, sparking campus protests and providing fodder for political talk shows.

The instructor, Olga Perez Stable Cox, was recorded in her human sexuality class the day after the presidential election calling Trump’s victory an “act of terrorism” and Vice President-elect Mike Pence “one of the most anti-gay humans in the country.”

College President Dennis Harkins suspended O’Neil for two semesters for violating campus privacy rules, but the college district trustees overturned the punishment and reinstated the student after public outcry, including scathing editorials in the Orange County Register.

Steel said he and others are sifting through a “treasure trove” of “fifteen hundred pages of emails” between OCC faculty and administrators regarding the O’Neil incident, obtained through a Freedom of Information request: “It’s not over. … We have a lot of information that we’re digesting.”

Further, Steel said the OCC case has led to his involvement in other recent campus incidents, including representation of “several of the victims” in the February melee at UC Berkeley that stopped an appearance by anti-left provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Steel indicated that he and other lawyers were considering civil rights actions against the university and city.

The show’s other guest, Professor Rob Schneiderman, head of the OCC teachers union, disputed Steel’s blanket characterization of college campuses as leftist bastions:

“Campuses in general may lean to the liberal side, but I know Orange Coast College is not one of those campuses. Certainly Golden West College in Huntington Beach is absolutely not, I can tell you from experience working with the faculty, that they are not a hard-left campus.”

Schneiderman said the controversy has hurt OCC: “Our campus is less safe for students to be vulnerable, to ask questions because of the outcome, the back-and-forth, discipline then no discipline, the confusion over what is the educational code, what can you record, what can’t you record.”

Schneiderman lauded professor Cox, saying that for 40 years she has been teaching ideas in her human sexuality class that have only recently become widely accepted. Steel said he wants the college to require that Cox apologize to student O’Neil and take an anger management class.

Steel and Schneiderman also tangled over teacher tenure. Steel said it protects professors who are incompetent, intolerant or bullying, while Schneiderman said it ensures academic freedom and open and vigorous dialogue.

One point on which Schneiderman and Steel agreed: The college administration botched the whole affair.

While defending Cox, the union “never advocated” for disciplinary action against student O’Neil, Schneiderman said: “I was shocked, frankly, that there was a suspension, I never expected it in a million years.” He said the situation could have been defused by quickly bringing the student and teacher together to air their concerns.

The controversy continues to simmer. Since the interview, several OCC buildings were sprayed with graffiti targeting campus Republican leader Joshua Recalde-Martinez. Also, the college named Professor Cox the recipient of its Faculty of the Year award.

Part One of the interview aired last week and is available on YouTube. Part Two is airing this week on PBS SoCal, KDOC and Cox, and is also available on YouTube. The complete show schedule is here.

  • @Dan Chmielewski

    she’s right on both counts

    • verifiedsane

      Chmie is a hateful ignorant fool on both counts…checkmate!!….on a more positive note: knowing that you are a member of the Dumocratic party committee for OC is comforting…that’s makes any election gains for the nutty folks Dums in the near future much less likely… 🙂

  • LFOldTimer

    Had Hillary been elected and a conservative prof at OCC told his class that we have a “criminal in the White House who’s a puppet for Wall Street and the globalists” the administration would have eaten him alive. There’s your difference in the California educational system of higher learning. Yet Olga was honored with an award! lol.

    The method of indoctrination we see in the California school system is really no different from what Hi*ler used to indoctrinate the kids in N*zi Germany, namely the “H*tlerjugend”.

    • justanon

      Made up BS!!!

      It’s probably been decades since Old Fool was even in a classroom, yet he ‘thinks’ he ‘knows’ what goes on in them.

      Everything Old Fool ‘knows’ has been spoon-fed to him from right-wing hate sites.

      It’s ironic that someone who screams”fake news” every time the news isn’t to your liking, would point the finger at others over “indoctrination” and “propaganda” as that’s all you tolerate. If the ‘news’ doesn’t reflect your beliefs it’s “fake”, lol! You swallow right-wing “propaganda” like it was mother’s milk.

      Too bad for you right-wingers that reality, facts and truth all have a liberal bias.

      • LFOldTimer

        Even when I was in school the faculty was dominated by lying libs. Back then I had to play the game to graduate. Today I don’t. Libs hate the truth.

        There are dozens of media reports of conservative teachers being punished
        for supporting Trump.

        For example, here’s one of dozens:

        “St. Paul, MN – The Pioneer Press is reporting a St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) teacher was suspended 15 days’ pay for discussing Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and other issues during his math class at Como Park High School in St. Paul.”

        Put some of that in your pipe and smoke it. lol.

        • justanon

          You wouldn’t know a lie if it bit you in the *ss!

          Proof: you support the biggest LIAR our country has EVER seen, namely donald j trump, ha, ha ha!

          • LFOldTimer

            Another diversion on your part to avoid the truth that I posted in my comment! lol.

            Winning is great!!!

          • justanon

            What truth???

            Some dumb HIGH SCHOOL MATH teacher decides to spend his entire class time inappropriately talking politics as opposed to a COLLEGE PROFESSOR who teaches Human Sexuality talking about politics and policy that DOES have an effect on human sexuality.

            I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: LOGIC IS NOT YOUR STRONG SUIT!!!

          • LFOldTimer

            Trump is actually pro-gay and pro-LGBT. But Olga failed to mention that in her “Human Sexuality” class. lol.

            Get informed.

            You just stepped in it again.

          • @Dan Chmielewski

            which is why he chose Pence for VP — one of the most anti-gay/anti-LGBT elected ever.
            Get informed; sure. Trump’s lied more than 300 times in 65 days. Read the Time Magazine interview.

          • LFOldTimer

            Does the President and the VP have to agree on every single national issue?

            The record shows that Trump is pro-gay and pro-LGBT.

            I can’t help it if you refuse to acknowledge the facts.

            The left won’t give him credit for anything.

            Sore losers.

          • justanon

            Proof that trump is pro-gay and pro-LGBT?

            Ha, ha, ha … delusional sucker.

          • @Dan Chmielewski

            I’ll give Trump credit for making SNL great again.


            “during an interview with Fox News in January 2016, Trump said he would “strongly consider” appointing judges to overturn the Marriage Equality Act.”

            From ABC News: “The Republican Party’s platform, ratified by the party in July, opposes same-sex marriage, condemns the Supreme Court’s rulings in Obergefell v. Hodges (which legalized gay marriage nationwide) and United States v. Windsor (which struck down a core component of the Defense of Marriage Act) and supports proposed “religious freedom” legislation that critics say would allow businesses to deny services to LGBT people.

            His comments about same-sex marriage break with the longtime position of Vice President–elect Mike Pence, who signed a “religious freedom” bill into law in 2015 but walked back some of its language after facing backlash from across the country”

          • LFOldTimer

            Your selective news articles from liberal rags carry little weight in honest discussions.

            DJT is your President. Like it or lump it. 4 more years!!!! 🙂

          • justanon

            So you CAN’T find ANY instances of trump “advocating” or being ” pro-gay and pro-LGBT”? Ha, ha, ha!!!!

            Back to your go-to retort … “trump is president nyah, nyah”.

            Such a resounding defense of your POS so-called president, hilarious!

          • @Dan Chmielewski

            ABC News, CNN and Out Magazine, the leading publication for LGBTQ are liberal rags?
            I’m glad you survived the Bowling Green Massacre

          • verifiedsane

            probably eight more years…that will get them really worked up with the hate spewing….LMAO

          • LFOldTimer

            The Russian tin-foil conspiracy involving Trump & Putin is growing long in the tooth with zero results. As a matter of fact as a result it appears they might have dug up some dirt on the dummycraps showing wiretap foul play. lol. Trump might be able to turn it around and have Sessions indict a couple of the lib buffoons.

            The latest is that Hillary’s campaign chief John Podesta failed to report receipt of 75,000 shares of a Kremlin-financed company when he joined the Obama White House team in 2014. Failure to disclose such a transaction is a violation of Federal law. ha.

            Me wonders what consideration was provided for the 75,000 shares?

            The moral of the story is don’t throw stones when you live in a glass house. 🙂

          • justanon

            Today’s headlines:

            LGBTQ Advocates Horrified By Trump Administration’s Civil Rights Health Pick

            Trump appoints anti-LGBT activist to head HHS civil rights office

            Trump taps anti-LGBTQ activist Roger Severino to lead HHS Civil Rights Office

          • verifiedsane

            Pence is good man of faith, who holds true to traditional American and Christian values…That must really get your socialist & cultural Marxist panties up in a bunch….that’s just to bad… 🙂

            chmie and diaper boy still haven’t realized or accepted the reality that President Trump and Vice President Pence were elected to office.

            You lost….you’re still losing on all the major issues… will lose even more ground and power in the 2018 mid-terms..all you have to contribute is fake news, nasty vitriol and more whaa-whaa-whaa 🙂

          • justanon

            And just how is he “pro-gay” and ” pro-LGBT”???

            Most of his appointments and his VP are virulently anti-LGBT and he’s vowing to “destroy the Johnston amendment” which would open up LGBT people to all kinds of discrimination. Furthermore, he NEVER stands up for or tweets about LGBT discrimination or any other kind of discrimination.

            The truth is, if it doesn’t affect him personally and it pleases the rubes … he’s ‘flexible’.

          • LFOldTimer

            Like I told Dan, what makes you believe that a President and his VP must agree on every single national issue? You’re not that shallow, are you?

            Trump has advocated rights for both gays and the LGBT movement. Your refusal to acknowledge that only makes your bias that much more obvious.

            And AGAIN you failed to respond to my point that Olga the “Human Sexuality” prof failed to give Trump credit for supporting both gays and LGBT’s.

            You libs are so close minded and UN-free thinkers.

            Your mythical affinity for tolerance is just so laughable! lol.

          • justanon

            What LGBT rights has he “advocated” for???

            During the campaign he was anti-transgender laws and anti-gay marriage, now once in office he’s …meh. Hardly an “advocate”, lol.

            His anti-gay and anti-LGBT appointees speak to his ‘commitment’ to LGBT rights far louder than his casual and habitual lies.

            The truth is you have no idea where he stands on this issue because he’ll do, say and ‘believe’ whatever is politically expedient and that is very, very dangerous for the LGBT community.

            And then there is Neil Gorsuch, his nominee for the Supreme Court:

            Neil Gorsuch’s Disturbing Record on LGBTQ Rights


          • verifiedsane

            Hey Diaper Boy; intellect, knowledge, civility, facts, and logic are all obviously not your strong suits….of course your one and only strong suit are adhesive tabs holding up your diaper…. 🙂

            Now run along to your uncle Soros, going whaa-whaa-whaa for a hug and reach around…

          • verifiedsane

            Diaper Boy has their diaper all up in a bunch again while spewing the same liberal hogwash and name calling they have cut and pasted from CNN (Communist News Network)……

  • justanon

    Oh, oh, oh, the poor little right-wing snowflakes can’t take hearing other opinions.

    The hypocrisy … it burns! Ha, ha, ha!

  • verifiedsane

    Olga Perez Stable C*x, was recorded in her human sexuality class the day
    after the presidential election calling Trump’s victory an “act of
    terrorism” and Vice President-elect Mike Pence “one of the most anti-gay
    humans in the country.” <—-what OCC and the Union consider tolerant, professional, and unbiased faculty discourse while teaching students in a publicly funded community college.

    "Professor Rob Schneiderman, head of the OCC teachers union, disputed
    Steel’s blanket characterization of college campuses as leftist bastions" <—who does this hard-left clown think he's fooling?