A student at Fresno State University is suing his professors for allegedly putting him on disciplinary probation because of his politics, and he has video that he says proves his case.
The trouble started in May 2011, when Neil O’Brien, a senior at Fresno State who is active in student government, went to talk with two professors in Fresno’s Chicano and Latin American Studies Department. O’Brien, who is widely known on campus for advocating against policies such as the DREAM Act, the proposed law that would give young illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, was miffed that they allowed a poem he found offensive to be published in a university-sponsored newspaper. The poem starts with the passage “America, the land robbed by the white savage” and continues along those lines.
When O’Brien approached the professors separately in their offices, the same thing happened in each case: they said they didn’t want to talk with him. Openly recording the encounters on a video camera, O’Brien told them he just wanted to ask questions. They again told him to leave, and closed their doors.