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Having just received a definition of opinion vs.

retaliation, I wonder: Can the...
Having just received a definition of opinion vs. retaliation, I wonder: Can the actions of the administration, in this case, be construed as a form of retaliation?
I teach political science, mostly American government. I state my opinions and encourage students to debate me - without fear of retaliation, especially with regard to their grades; it's stated clearly in my syllabus and that students could even take over the podium to "teach" their opinion.
Yet, I criticize both Left (mostly) as well as the Right almost equitably. I believe that this is more retaliation for having unpopular political opinions, which are mostly classic liberal or libertarian.
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3/20/2018
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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What actions has the Administration taken?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
They wanted to suspend me for three days, skipping a step as outlined on the collective bargaining agreement in the discipline process which mandates a written warning first. They reference their procedure 1080.1, which is "Harassment and Bullying" policy, specifically: "B. Retaliatory harassment: Any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person's participation in a complaint or investigation of misconduct.... the college strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual for filing a complaint of harassment or for participating in a harassment or other misconduct investigation. Retaliatory conduct is illegal and constitutes a violation of this procedure. 1. All allegations of retaliation will be swiftly and thoroughly investigated. If it is determined that retaliation occurred, the College will take all reasonable steps within its power to stop such conduct. Individuals who engage in retaliatory conduct are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion...."
What investigation? And how is, or was, my comment "retaliatory?" There was no investigation that I know of.
Sequence of events:
The student who filed a complaint, which I consider to be full of lies or misrepresentations at best, ***** ***** the fall 2017 semester.
She dropped the class circa mid-term 2017.
Her complaint was filed shortly thereafter. Her friend and seat-mate also filed a complaint.
Because I work retail, as well as teach at a community college and retail distributes hours freely going into the holidays, I did not have time to respond to the complaint immediately. I also do not have a computer at home, which limited my ability to type up a response.
I submitted a response during the first week of January.
I received no acknowledgement nor was there an investigatory hearing scheduled, which is what normally occurs in such cases if the non-teaching administrative staff determines there needs to be a follow-up. Therefore, I assume that the matter was closed.
In the response was the same phrase for which I was accused of retaliatory behaviour. The students complained that they did not learn anything, to which I responded: "I believe that I am not authorized to shove my arm up anyone's anus in order to ensure that his or her gaze is directed to the front of the room."
The "derogatory" comment I made was sometime in the early part of the winter semester of 2018, in the closed-access adjunct faculty office, or mid-January through late February.
This is the "retaliation" of which they claim.
Granted the wording might be somewhat strong, but I have grown frustrated with the administration's actions regarding student complaints, basically guilty until proven innocent, or so it seems.
I teach political science and have made it clear that my class is a free speech zone, wherein anything can be discussed. I even have that in my syllabus that students have the right to challenge my opinions.
Unlike some of my PoliSci peers, I do not lie to the students attempting to hide my political beliefs. Students will discern an instructor's political orientation after a few class meetings.
However, I DO NOT GRADE my students on my opinions or beliefs. Tests and quizzes come straight from the textbook. And I spend several hours throughout the semester explaining how their papers are to be accomplished, as a well as requiring them to submit e-drafts. There is no abstract "participation" grade in my class; it is all done with accrued points. In other words, I have, for all intents and purposes, neutralized my personal feelings about anyone's political beliefs by making the grade acquisition as quantifiable as possible.
I believe that this is a concerted effort either to silence my political opinions or to terminate me because I criticize feminism, the regressive left, et alia. And, I also criticize conservatives and the Right.
This is not the first time members of the administration have done this. Another professor, Steve Berg, a full-time, tenured professor, had fallacious complaints lodged against him without being able to file responses, grades changed, etc. While I acknowledge that Prof. Berg's case is independent of mine, it is illustrative of the attitude which certain members of the administration have toward people with whose opinions, political or otherwise, they disagree.
Basically, it's a free-speech issue as well.

I think if there is a collective bargaining agreement with faculty, that would be the best strong arm to represent you in this dispute. I agree that mere complaints are not something the school should be overly sensitive too. I hated most of my professors as well but would not do anything to affect their job.

Asad Rahman
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Category: Employment Law
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