Saturday, February 18, 2017

Recording Your Professor

Readers might recall that, early last semester, a student and that student's parent pushed our school hard to allow the student to record me during class.  I'm quite against that--I don't want to accept the risk of having teenagers, with their video-editing savvy, to have video of me.  No good can come from that.  Add to that concern the fact that our newly-adopted textbooks all have online videos and tutorials, and there's no legitimate reason to record me.

University professors are a little different.  In many cases they're lecturing to a hall of students who don't have the opportunity to ask questions during class.  Accordingly, some professors allow students to record them, some don't.  That seems eminently reasonable to me.  However, I'm not sure it's appropriate to hide behind a "no recording" policy when doing and saying things in class that you'd regret if word got out:
A student who recorded his professor’s post-Election Day rant against Donald Trump has been suspended, but his attorney vowed on Wednesday to fight the sanctions, calling administrators’ decision punitive and a violation of the student’s Constitutional rights.

Student Caleb O’Neil was suspended for a semester from Orange Coast College for allegedly violating a policy that prohibits recording professors, but his attorney, William Becker, called instructor Olga Perez Stable Cox’s tirade against Trump an “unconstitutional act that needed to be documented."
Which constitutional rights?  And a professor's tirade is unconstitutional?  Uh, interesting.   But let's continue:
Becker told the Register “this is an attack by leftists in academia to protect the expressive rights of their radical instructors at the expense of the expressive rights of conservative students on campus.”
This is no doubt true.

I probably tilt towards the student in this case as I tilt towards Edward Snowden--violated the rules, but did so to expose wrongdoing.

Update, 2/27/17:  The suspension has been vacated:
The Coast Community College District board of trustees has directed Orange Coast College to revoke its suspension of a student who secretly video-recorded his human-sexuality professor calling President Trump's election victory "an act of terrorism"...

But, the OCC statement said, "without condoning the unlawful recording of a lecture, the student's desire to voice his displeasure is understandable."

"The student in this case felt he could not freely share his political views in a classroom, which is why he felt his only recourse was to record a lecture he felt was unfair," according to the statement.

"The teacher in this case felt she was sharing her views and responding to a student who voiced concerns about the political climate," the statement added. "Without condoning what was said, the angst and distress she has felt, as hundreds of hateful and threatening messages were directed at her, is understandable."

"It's time to move forward with increased empathy and understanding of the differences that have and will exist on a campus filled with individuals from an array of backgrounds who bring them a wide range of political views, religious affiliations and ideals," according to the statement.

1 comment:

three of clubs said...

And since no one can really afford the risk, soon, we'll have pre-recorded lectures vetted by an educational establishment. Welcome to the end times!

I actually long to be a private tutor in the modern age, just so I can teach.

Bring it on.