An Orange County professor and student are both facing scrutiny after a video of remarks the teacher made in the wake of Donald Trump's presidential victory surfaced this week on the internet.
In the recording, made days after the election, Professor Olga Perez Stable Cox describes to her human sexuality class at Orange Coast College an America whose societal rifts run as deep as they did during the Civil War, with one side accosting the other.
"Our nation is divided," she said. "We have been assaulted. It is an act of terrorism."
The student who recorded the video has remained anonymous, but it was made public by the campus' College Republicans club. That group's president, Joshua Recalde-Martinez, said Cox is criminalizing those in favor of the president-elect.
"She’s calling those people in that room who supported and voted for him terrorists," he said.
Martinez also objected to Cox's wording, which he found exclusionary and dismissive of other viewpoints.
"First of all, we are the majority. More of us voted to not have that kind of leadership," she says in the video. "We didn’t win because of the way our Electoral College is set up, but we are the majority and that’s helping me to feel better."
In a Facebook post, the union representing Cox said she is one of the most popular professors on campus, and encouraging robust discussion on provocative issues is one of her hallmarks.
"Unfortunately, rather than take the opportunity to openly discuss the issues that Professor Cox raised in her lecture, a student chose to secretly videotape the comments they disagreed with and publish them on the internet," the statement read.
On the website RateMyProfessors.com, which allows college students to review and rank their teachers, Cox notched a 4.6 out 5 and is the highest-rated professor on campus. She has been teaching at OCC for 30 years, according to the school's website.
The statement also indicates the recording may violate campus policy. Most colleges have strict rules regarding lecture recordings since the material can be considered the intellectual property of the school or professor.
Martinez, however, said he will fight to ensure the content remains online.
"That video is going to stay and we’re going to make sure as many people are informed about it as possible," he said.