•   
  •   
  •   

US California professor put on paid administrative leave after video shows him chastising student who is hard of hearing

06:20  24 february  2021
06:20  24 february  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Ocasio-Cortez: 'The case against student loan forgiveness is looking shakier by the day'

  Ocasio-Cortez: 'The case against student loan forgiveness is looking shakier by the day' Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) responded to President Biden's comments on student loan forgiveness late Tuesday, saying the case against it "is looking shakier by the day." "I do think in this moment of economic pain and strain that we should be eliminating interest on the debts that are accumulated, No. 1. And No. 2, I'm prepared to write off the $10,000 debt, but not [$50,000]," Biden said during the CNN town hall in Wisconsin. Pressed by a questioner in the audience if he would see to cancelation of $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower, Biden said: "I will not make that happen.

A tenure-track professor at a California community college is on leave and under investigation after video of him speaking critically to a hard-of-hearing student during an online class made the rounds on social media.

graphical user interface: Sarah Rand recorded part of an online class where her professor can be heard chastising another student who is hard-of-hearing. CNN obscured parts of this image to protect the identity of the other students in the class. © Courtesy Sara Rand Sarah Rand recorded part of an online class where her professor can be heard chastising another student who is hard-of-hearing. CNN obscured parts of this image to protect the identity of the other students in the class.

Last Thursday, a two-minute video -- broken into three parts for TikTok -- surfaced showing a Zoom recording from a physiology class at Oxnard College that day taught by professor Michael Abram, who is identified in the video by name and by a student in his class.

Schumer, Warren push for $50K in student debt cancellation after Biden balks

  Schumer, Warren push for $50K in student debt cancellation after Biden balks Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are pressing President Biden to use his executive power to cancel $50,000 per borrower in student debt after he balked at the idea at a Tuesday town hall."An ocean of student loan debt is holding back 43 million borrowers and disproportionately weighing down Black and Brown Americans. Cancelling $50,000 in federal student loan debt will help close the racial wealth gap, benefit the 40% of borrowers who do not have a college degree, and help stimulate the economy. It's time to act. We will keep fighting," Warren and Schumer said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

CNN has reached out to Abram multiple times via email and phone but has not heard back.

When the posted video begins, it's not clear whether the professor is aware the student, who later self identifies in the video as hard of hearing, needs assistance with her hearing. CNN is not naming the student because she declined to speak to us.

He asks the student, who says she can hear him a little bit, why she hasn't been answering.

"You can hear me a little bit? Abram asks. "Why didn't you answer all the times I spoke to you then?

The student attempts to respond, but Abram continues to talk over her.

"I'm hard of hearing," she says in response to Abram.

"Why don't we talk sometime? Why don't you email me? We'll set up a live Zoom and we're going to have some real communication at some point in time," he says. "Maybe you can have your counselor join us, OK? Do you hear me? OK, wonderful, do that," he says.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a step-by-step guide for asking members of Congress to support student loan forgiveness

  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a step-by-step guide for asking members of Congress to support student loan forgiveness The lawmaker encouraged her followers to share personal stories about how student loan debt has impacted them.On Tuesday, the representative from New York criticized President Joe Biden's opposition to a Democratic plan that would wipe out $50,000 in student loan debt for borrowers, saying his argument against it "is looking shakier by the day.

After that interaction, another female student on the Zoom class says the student is hard of hearing and cannot respond right away.

"She's not paying attention, she's not trying," Abram says.

The other student says, "It's slower on her end because she needs to get it translated and then it goes to her hearing piece."

Abram tells the student who is hard of hearing to "have your counselor speak with me because you've got too much distraction to even understand what is going on."

"Yes, I do because my translator is next to me explaining me everything that you're saying," she replies.

Abram suggests the student's translator teach her moving forward.

"Just have them teach you, the whole class, that makes sense to me," he says. "I don't know, I don't understand it," adding he saw the student who is hard of hearing "laughing" and "giggling" with someone else and is not paying attention. She replies that she's in a good mood.

Detained Americans Fast Facts

  Detained Americans Fast Facts Read CNN's Fast Facts about recent cases of foreign governments detaining US citizens. For information about missing Americans, see Robert Levinson Fast Facts or POW/MIA in Iraq and Afghanistan Fast Facts. © CNN Kenneth Bae spoke to CNN's Will Ripley on September 1, 2014. Currently Detained AmericansChina Kai Li September 2016 - Kai Li, a naturalised US citizen born in China, is detained while visiting relatives in Shanghai.July 2018 - He is sentenced to ten years in prison for espionage following a secret trial held in August 2017.

Abram continues to repeatedly ask her to have her "counselor" talk to him, to which she agrees, but says she feels like he is "attacking" her.

"I'm not attacking you, I'm not attacking you," he says. "I'm just significantly disappointed in you. That's all, that's all it is. I'm not attacking you."

The professor is now on administrative leave, the college said in a statement. "I am saddened and outraged beyond words that any of our students should either be or feel disrespected by any of our employees," acting President Luiz Sanchez said in a statement posted to Twitter.

The video was meant for administrators to review

Sarah Rand, a student in Abram's class, took the original video that was then posted on TikTok by someone she described as a family friend.

Rand told CNN she took the video with the intention of sending it to administrators to show the behavior and commentary she said she and other students have seen during Abram's classes this semester.

When asked at a press briefing Monday whether any prior complaints were made against Abram, administrators said they couldn't comment because that is part of the investigation.

Big student loan debt is not a 'Harvard, Yale and Penn' problem (Opinion)

  Big student loan debt is not a 'Harvard, Yale and Penn' problem (Opinion) Persis Yu writes that President Joe Biden's comments on student loan debt misconstrue who exactly holds the most student loan debt in the US, and does not go far enough in providing a solution.On the campaign trail, President Joe Biden promised to cancel at least $10,000 of federal student loans for all borrowers in response to the Covid-19 crisis. Over 60 lawmakers and 17 state attorneys general have called on him to go further and cancel up to $50,000 administratively.

Abram was hired as a full time tenured-track professor in fall 2004 as a biology teacher but he has taught anatomy and physiology classes at Oxnard College, according to Art Sandford, vice president of academic affairs and student learning.

On Friday, the Ventura County Community College District, of which Oxnard College is a part, issued a statement.

"The Ventura County Community College District is opposed to any language or behavior which is offensive or harmful to anyone based on gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability," board Chair Joshua Chancer said in the statement. "Comments in the video do not reflect the District's values of integrity and honesty in action and word, respect and the constant pursuit of excellence."

The National Association of the Deaf said deaf and hard-of-hearing students vary in what they need in class, including interpreters, captioning and devices to assist them.

"The use of interpreters or captioning usually results in additional time for the deaf or hard of hearing student to receive all the information and then be able to respond," CEO Howard A. Rosenblum said in a statement. "Professors must therefore be patient and accommodate this additional time, instead of berating such students."

A quarter of Americans support forgiving all federal student-loan debt

  A quarter of Americans support forgiving all federal student-loan debt President Joe Biden has thrown his support behind $10,000 in student loan forgiveness. But a quarter of Americans want it all forgiven.Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer called for $50,000 in student loan forgiveness, but President Joe Biden essentially rejected that plan, throwing his support behind $10,000 in forgiveness.

Administrators say campuses can make learning accommodations

The investigation could take up to 90 days to complete, Greg Gillespie, chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District, said at press briefing Monday.

"The instructor is entitled to due process under the law so it's his constitutional right as a permanent public employee and so he will be on a paid leave until the investigation is complete and we're able to determine what the findings bring us," said Laura Lizaola Barroso, vice chancellor of human resources at Ventura County Community College District.

CNN has reached out to the Oxnard College Academic Senate, which has a voice in student and faculty matters.

Administrators said they have told students the district has the ability to make accommodations for any type of learning assistance that is needed. They said it's important for students to let faculty or the educational assistance center staff know their needs.

The home college for the student who is hard-of-hearing is Moorpark, another one of Ventura's campuses, according to administrators at the briefing. It's not uncommon for a student to take classes at other campuses, especially now, when the majority of classes have shifted online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We know that the student was connected with the EAC (educational assistance center) folks at Moorpark College. However, we're still looking into the status of the student with regards to whether or not accommodation had been requested for this Oxnard College class," Gillespie said.

Administrators said they are in the process of meeting with and reaching out to the students involved.

Rand said at first she was worried that sharing the video with administrators may risk her graduation and her grades, but says without it, they wouldn't know what's happening with a faculty member.

"It's our hope that we've created an environment where people are comfortable in coming forward so that these can be addressed, Gillespie said. "This incident is an example of where unacceptable behavior is seen occurring in a video and we're going to investigate it and take that seriously."

The administration said it also is proud of the other female student who spoke up on behalf of the student who is hard of hearing.

Rand said she never thought the video would be received on social media in the way that it has.

"No matter what this person did, I don't think his reputation should be buried, like millions of people are hating him. That wasn't my intention," she said.

"I did this for other people to show that when you see something wrong, don't just stay quiet, because this is abuse that's happening that needs to stop," said Rand. "Don't be afraid. Speak up for the truth."

The GOP debate over family-friendly laws .
How conservatives are grappling with diverging economic and cultural trends.“Everything about our ideology sort of stems from the nucleus of the family, that we are leaving women in this country without the capacity and ability unless you have an employer that allows you to, to take care of your child, to heal physically, which is something that needs to happen,” McCain said, calling the lack of nationwide, mandatory, paid maternity leave “a dark spot” that leaders need to resolve if “we are going to give women and families the capacity to grow in the way we want.

usr: 7
This is interesting!