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SBCC, ex-philosophy instructor agree to $120,000 settlement

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SBCC, ex-philosophy instructor agree to $120,000 settlement

Delaney Smith, Editor-in-Chief

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City College has agreed to pay former instructor Mark McIntire $120,000 as part a settlement approved by the Board of Trustees at its August 9 meeting.

The vote was 6-0 with Trustee Jonathan Abboud absent, according to Board President Veronica Gallardo. McIntire agreed to accept $120,000 as a condition to the settlement and he waived all potential claims of any nature against City College and its faculty and staff.

As part of the financial payout, $50,000 came from the college’s liability insurance, according to Luz Reyes-Martin, executive director of public affairs and communications. The remaining $70,000 came from the college’s general fund.

The settlement comes after the original May 14 termination notice, which was preceded by his third negative teaching evaluation from Philosophy Chair Marc Bobro and four female instructors filing Title IX harassment complaints against the long-time philosophy instructor. However, McIntire said part of the settlement states that any “ratifying negative determinations” from deans, vice presidents or human resources personnel will list him as resigned on August 3 rather than not-rehired or terminated.

“The most important part of my settlement agreement is the full purge till the end of time of all three negative teaching evaluations issued by Marc Bobro,” McIntire wrote to The Channels on Sept. 6.

He also added he was “fully exonerated” from all four Title IX complaints.

Judge Elinor Reiner, the retired judge hired by City College to investigate the complaints, determined that McIntire’s statements, although they were “gender-based in a purposefully disparaging fashion,” were still not severe enough to be considered in violation of Title IX law.

The college paid $25,900 from the legal services budget in the general fund for Reiner’s investigations, according to Reyes-Martin.

Raeanne Napoleon, a chemistry professor at City College, was the first to file a Title IX complaint against McIntire in April, following a controversy around a campus guest speaker McIntire invited to the campus. Napoleon said she is not pleased with the outcome of McIntire’s settlement with the college.

She said she is considering resigning from her teaching position because of the way the situation was handled, and disagrees with Judge Reiner’s finding.

“McIntire was allowed to harass me and anyone that stuck up for me for literally months,” Napoleon said. “And the four women that lodged a Title IX complaint against him begged the administration for help in every different way we knew how. We were worse than ignored. We were treated and continue to be treated like we’re the problem.

“If we would just shut up and go away and get over it, everything would be fine. I am not willing to be part of something that says they do such a great job at promoting equity and making an inclusive environment when I have been worse than ignored.”

McIntire, on the other hand, said he was content with the outcome of the settlement and called it “a sane and sober conclusion to [his] dispute” in a letter to his supporters on his gofundme page. He listed four “systemic outcomes” of the settlement as his reasons for accepting it as follows:

“1. the tax-payers who fund SBCC are spared the burden of expensive and lengthy legal proceedings.

2. the noble work of many dedicated faculty, staff, and students will not be interrupted by protracted media reports of legal actions.

3. the core prime-movers of academic freedom suppression at SBCC have now fingered themselves as mere instances of a national crisis in Constitutional freedom protections enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

4. the College can now move forward crafting Constitutional pathways to protect the expressions of opposing views to the prevailing ‘liberal-progressives’ both on the SBCC campus and the larger citizenry.”

Although McIntire is no longer with the college, Napoleon said she’s still troubled by the ordeal.

“It’s not over for me,” Napoleon said. “Everybody wants to pretend that it’s over now that he’s gone, but it’s not over for me. I’m still angry.”

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32 Responses to “SBCC, ex-philosophy instructor agree to $120,000 settlement”

  1. Mark McIntire on September 10th, 2018 1:44 pm

    Hello Delany,

    Thanks for a fair and balanced article explaining the details of the settlement I reached with the SBCC Board of Trustees that prevented dragging this dispute out in front of a judge and jury. All of us involved in this settlement had as our main point of agreement that no further damage be done to the college from this unfortunate grievance.

    I’m sorry to read that some do not agree with our motivation to reach an early settlement for the good of the entire community.

    — Cordially
    Mark McIntire
    Former Philosophy Professor at SBCC

  2. Bob Faulkner on September 10th, 2018 5:06 pm

    >>>which was preceded by his third negative teaching evaluation from Philosophy Chair Marc Bobro and four female instructors filing Title IX harassment complaints against the long-time philosophy instructor. However, McIntire said part of the settlement states that any “ratifying negative determinations” from deans, vice presidents or human resources personnel will list him as resigned on August 3 rather than not-rehired or terminated.

    Wow. Sounds like McIntire got a sweetheart deal. unbelievable after the way he and his friend bullied the school for so many months.

    He not only gets paid, but the negative evaluations are stripped off his record and he is allowed to resign instead of not be re-hired.

    That means, he is free to harass some other school and no one at the school will know he had trouble here.

    I agree with Napoleon, this is not a good outcome for the school.

  3. Mia on September 11th, 2018 11:33 am

    “You can only be bullied if you are weak and have no plausible defense. Admitting you are bullied is admitting that you have been dominated.”

    Look at this sophistry coming from a “philosophy professor” of all people. Beg the question much?

    I may not know the details of the story, but you’ve just revealed your character, and it’s
    an ugly one.

    P.S. – I don’t think you know what “cordially” means.

    Good riddance.

  4. Alex Michael Madajian on September 12th, 2018 9:37 am

    Who exactly was that friend of his? Was it that starving Armenian guy? The one who founded a club dedicated to allowing anyone share any idea and discuss and criticize it with anyone else in a friendly intellectual environment? If that’s not bulling a college, than I don’t know what is. After all, I should know, I have a degree from this college, and that’s on my permanent record.

  5. Mark McIntire on September 12th, 2018 11:29 am

    Oh , hey I remember you Alex. You were that brave Student who was attacked by name, by the SJW faculty, using the SJW faculty elite email for defending Christian s libertarians , homeschooled, and Trump voters on campus at a Board of Trustees meeting last May. I hear you’re in Washington DC now helping our president to drain the swamp of SJW mafia types in the FBI. How’s it going?

    Mark McIntire
    Former Philosophy Professor

  6. Alex Michael Madajian on September 13th, 2018 11:45 am

    Pretty well given the fact that I have a lot of evidence of academic bulling and discrimination to take with me to all of the news outlets that I’m applying for. Thanks for asking! Have a great day, and don’t spend all of that well-deserved money in the same place!

  7. YoloSwagLord on September 11th, 2018 12:50 am

    Great article, Delaney.

    Sad to see the misconduct of four female professors and Bobro’s fraudulent performance reviews have cost the college $145,900, not including pay for the time that staff were forced to waste handling this issue. Hopefully they will be held responsible to at least some extent for this entire affair.

    Title IX abuse is a very serious problem and people who do so should be held fully accountable.

  8. Tommy Brohama on September 11th, 2018 12:03 pm

    lol, hi Mark’s milenial alter-ego!

  9. Mark McIntire on September 11th, 2018 7:55 pm

    Wave lol !

    Pontifex Maximus

  10. Lori Gaskin on September 11th, 2018 9:38 am

    Mark. . . get off your high horse. Your pontificating has long ago grown old and wearisome. The payout is such a sad outcome for the college. I commend Marc Bobro and the other faculty who have exercised their voices with courage, clarity, and integrity. I can only hope others join with these strong faculty and express the outrage that has been festering.

  11. Robin Goodnough on September 11th, 2018 1:26 pm

    Thank you, Lori. I too am saddened for my college and for the silence of colleagues and leadership. I too commend my colleagues for speaking out and for defending themselves and their integrity. This is everyone’s fundamental right and responsibility.

    I’m especially sad that all of this continues to feed what appears to be an insatiable need for attention, however it can be garnered, and that it continues to exact a price from those who should be receiving support from our college and our colleagues. I hesitate to enter any conversation here because I don’t want to feed the narcissistic black hole of this individual, but there are times when silence is an act of great harm and is simply wrong.

    Please read with clear eyes these responses. They aren’t a defense of free speech; they’re another attack using misogynistic language that every woman recognizes very well. In my experience, this is Mark’s usual style. Mark has called himself a victim of many things many, many times in print, but he hasn’t called himself a “hysterical victim poser.”

    Enough is enough. We don’t have to agree with any one individual in this situation to speak against what is wrong when we see it.

  12. Mark McIntire on September 11th, 2018 4:08 pm

    Ah! Lori Gaskin, greetings. It’s an honor and pleasure being attacked for defeating the very social justice warriors you hired and promoted during your short tenure as SBCC president. You certainly know a lot about courage, clarity, and integrity. During your SBCC presidency you caused; a failed badly needed ballot measure S, mass defections of donors, staff, and Board members from the SBCC Foundation, a multi-million dollar deficit left behind for your successor and the Trustees to clean up, sloppy evaluations by Marc Bobro and other department chairs costing the college over half a million dollars in payouts of your own from the general fund, Result? Through legal due process, four female faculty members humiliated by self inflicted wounds when their fake Title IX accusations that got tossed out by an independent, widely respected, female jurist. You have a lot to be angry about. Thank you for your service to our college. Enjoy your retirement …or are you the capo di tutti capi behind the coup d’état being waged by your SJW cadre on campus?

    — Pontifically yours
    Mark McIntire

  13. Hud Forp on September 11th, 2018 8:37 pm

    >>Former Philosophy Professor

    *snicker* The only true statement in McIntire’s sad, pathetic sig is that he’s a “Former” employee. He was never a “Professor”—a title which must be earned and which he never achieved. And his “Philosophy” credentials are so obviously weak, I’d bet a signed MAGA hat that he never gets hired at any other school, ever! Here he’s crowing like this is a victory, when it’s really just a cheap payoff and a pat on his flat-top, so he’ll eventually stfu and go away. He can go kick rocks.

  14. J. Wright on September 11th, 2018 9:08 pm

    It’s hilarious to see someone who brags about taking a payout from SBCC so “the noble work of many dedicated faculty, staff, and students will not be interrupted by protracted media reports of legal actions,” continue to shamelessly pursue any media coverage he can get. This is the very definition of hypocrisy. It’s clear enough from his own writings that McIntire lacks the basic communication and critical thinking skills — not to mention the basic understanding of philosophical concepts and logical argument — to teach philosophy successfully. SBCC students deserve so much more and are better off for his departure. Meanwhile, McIntire continues to flaunt his twisted, irrational thinking even while accusing others of being irrational. He continues to whine about his victimhood while mocking those he victimized, and complains about the suppression of his free speech while doing his best to attempt to belittle and silence the free speech of others. This is simply gaslighting. No matter how often or how loudly he promotes his distorted view of reality, he will never make it so.

  15. Mia on September 12th, 2018 8:52 am

    This guy types like an 18 year old Jordan Peterson fan.

  16. Robbie Fischer on September 12th, 2018 11:45 am

    Doesn’t Mark McIntire have anything better to do than continue trolling the school he claims to care about, attacking its people with his loopy rants? He should go back to his former career from the 1970s, when he was called Jack Wright.

  17. Celeste Barber on September 12th, 2018 3:31 pm

    I suppose the best way to respond to Mark McIntire’s detractors is to take us back to what brought everyone here in the first place: last spring’s campus-wide email through which Raeanne Napoleon pronounced an invited guest, Michael Shermer, to be a rapist. She did so hours before Mr. Shermer was scheduled to speak in a colloquium. Without any prior notification to Mark McIntire, who had invited the man, she accused Mr. Shermer based on one source, BuzzFeed, an online blog that my English 110 students would not have been permitted to cite in their debate papers. In her email, Professor Napoleon cautioned women specifically, that they should not permit themselves to be alone with Shermer.

    Even though I am retired, I continue to follow SBCC goings on via Pipeline. I read her email and then went online to investigate for myself. This is what I found. Nothing.

    True, I did locate the BuzzFeed article. But nothing else anywhere. I searched extensively for articles from credible sources: say, the Los Angeles Times. Nada. I did, however, learn (omitted from Raeanne Napoleon’s email), that the police declined to prosecute. Michael Shermer’s employers declined to prosecute, Chapman University and Scientific American. Again, there was nothing to back up the rape charge beyond the BuzzFeed article.

    What exactly was Mark McIntire, the colloquium host, expected to do? What would YOU have done in a similar circumstance? Just accepted the unsubstantiated claim of a colleague who did not behave in a collegial manner? Or fight back. Remember: the poorly attended event was a direct consequence of that morning’s salacious email.

    What most troubles me about this mess, was the assault on two men’s constitutional rights. Free speech does not extend to conjecture, rumor, unsubstantiated claims, and certainly not to accusations made across a workplace email system.

    And so, Shermer’s and McIntire’s rights did become the central issue here. Specifically, those contained in the Bill of Rights. Apparently, others believed the same. The Title IX judge found that Mark McIntire was not guilty of federal violations. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously in his favor as well, including removal of the punitive teaching evaluations. Tell me, were all those folks in cahoots against Professor Napoleon and her several supporters?

    I would also like to address Lori Gaskin’s claim that Marc Bobro was “courageous.” Actually, no. How exactly was he brave: a tenured department chair who is situated ideologically well within the bosom of the liberal majority that comprises SBCC faculty. What did Professor Bobro risk? What did he lose? What has changed for him this fall semester? Not a thing.

    Courageous people are those few among us willing to sacrifice everything: reputation, possessions, even life. Here are three examples, off the top of my head. Captain Andrew Haldane. Father Mychal Judge. Ernest Gideon Green. Look them up. But for sure, you won’t find them in BuzzFeed.

  18. Mark McIntire on September 12th, 2018 8:15 pm

    Thank you Celeste,

    Once again I’m indebted to former SBCC English professor, Celeste Barber, for her valid reasoning and sound evidence from the real world of legal and chronological fact in this settlement discussion. She writes with reserve and restraint. Her diction is measured and careful. Her intent is never to harm, but rather to enlighten. She side-steps the informal fallacies of others thus exposing their irrelevance, presumption, and/or ambiguity as a proper professor of Critical Thinking and Writing (PHIL/ENG-111) should do. She uses her real name attached to the expression of her views. She does not shrink from the expression of opposing views to her own, she relishes them. She encourages careful consideration of views some find offensive.

    She is unafraid to tackle the hard questions about enduring principles and values in our culture as a nation. She does not hide under her desk for fear of a negative evaluation, or worse. She is dedicated to a legacy of guiding her students to “ learn how to learn on their own” without drilling indoctrination by professors. She champions the classical notion that a college or university is a place you attend in order to be offended by ideas, not wall yourself away from them. She is one of the professors in our faculty class of 1995 that made SBCC great because she unlocked the individual greatness within her students through the GREAT BOOKS curriculum she masterminded and was nominated for the Hayward Award in 2015. She was the first adjunct faculty to be so honored.

    It is for these reasons that I thank her for her entry into this commentary thread now spiraling into flailing ad hominem and worse. Some might suggest that I emulate Celeste in all these virtues, but then there never would have been any resistance to the wrongs inflicted on Dr. Michael Shermer in the #MeToo witch-burning hysteria. Then, there would have been no one to defy the perpetrator trying to masquerade as the victim. Each of us is our own subjective hero in our own objective morality play. I did not ask The Channels to write this article, but I’m glad they did. When I’m bitten, I bite back.

    — Cordially
    Mark McIntire
    Former SBCC professor of philosophy

  19. Sandra L Starkey on September 14th, 2018 3:43 pm

    We are legally required to make sure students are warned when we send them to any campus event that could be unsafe. Raeanne read the article and gave a warning. She did nothing wrong other than incorrectly state that the police were investigating (which she later retracted after realizing the error). Why did these bullies take out their wrath on her? The women in the article gave their names and their accounts of what happened. If Schermer had a libel case he would have sued Buzzfeed, which is obvious to anyone with a basic understanding of the law. I think it’s also fairly obvious why he choose not to (he would have had to prove that they were lying). In his rage and frustration, he picked on a young chemistry professor doing her duty. If the women quoted in Buzzfeed were lying and he was being so unfairly treated, he would and could have sued the original news source as a remedy. It’s obvious. But why am I wasting my time in this era of “the truth is not the truth”? I’m done.

  20. Ellen Carey on September 12th, 2018 9:09 pm

    As a social scientist and librarian, I would like to offer a brief lesson in data literacy, critical thinking, and information literacy. Full disclosure: I am also one of those who filed a Title IX harassment complaint against Mark McIntire.

    Data Literacy
    There is a difference between correlation and causation. While it could be argued that a correlation exists between Dr. Napoleon’s all-campus email and poor attendance at Michael Shermer’s talk last spring, it is irresponsible to claim that Napoleon’s email caused the poor attendance. It is not unusual for evening events to be poorly attended and there are likely many factors at play, including the fact that many students have work and/or family responsibilities in the evenings and/or live at a distance from campus, and that this event was poorly publicized. For some funny examples that demonstrate the absurdity of mistaking correlation for causation, see Spurious Correlations (

    Critical Thinking
    Unfortunately, lack of sufficient evidence or resources to prosecute an alleged perpetrator of a crime has little to do with whether or not the crime took place — consider the high percentages of crimes that go unsolved ( and the high percentage of rape kits that go unprocessed ( The fact that charges such as those against Shermer (i.e. acquaintance rape) are notoriously difficult to prove does not mean the allegations are false. Only Shermer and the multiple women who have accused him of sexual assault know for sure.

    Information Literacy
    Information literacy* goes well beyond ascribing credibility to certain publications or types of sources. While it can be valuable to be aware of particular publications that tend to be credible (e.g. The Los Angeles Times), and types of sources that may need more scrutiny to determine credibility (e.g. personal blogs), it is also important to examine the overall information “ecosystem” in which information and information sources are created, valued monetarily or otherwise, and shared or suppressed. Those who are information literate understand that power influences which voices get airtime and which do not, especially in the mainstream media. Whether or not something has appeared in the mainstream media may say as much about whose voices and concerns are valued as it does about whether or not the information in question is accurate.

    Information literacy requires representing information accurately and using information ethically as well as using reliable sources. Let’s correct some facts:
    1. Dr. Napoleon did not make any personal accusations against Shermer. She shared publicly available information in the form of links to three articles (only one of which was from BuzzFeed, which, by the way, tends to be well-sourced and factual) about allegations of sexual assault against Shermer. Many other media sources have published similar information. Failure to find them does not mean they do not exist.
    2. Dr. Napoleon did not tell people not to attend the event, nor did she violate Shermer’s rights in any way. In fact, she defended Shermer’s right to free speech and articulated that she was sharing the information in the articles so faculty and staff could make a more informed choice about whether or not to support the event.
    3. The limits of free speech are complex and constantly changing through case law. But whatever the specifics of those limits, they apply to everyone equally. If “conjecture, rumor, unsubstantiated claims, and … accusations made across a workplace email system” are not included in freedom of speech, McIntire regularly violated the constitutional rights of many, many people at SBCC.
    4. The retired judge whom the college hired to investigate the Title IX complaints against Mark McIntire acted as a consultant with knowledge of the law. She was not acting as a judge in a court of law. As one of the complainants, I am one of few people who was legally entitled to a copy of the confidential report. I can assure you that its contents, which are both nuanced and at times inaccurate or incomplete, have not been represented accurately by McIntire. Had I known that it was within my rights to appeal the results of the investigation, I would have.

    It demonstrates an appalling lack of intellectual integrity to criticize women for exercising their free speech rights, and for fighting back when we were attacked for doing so, while simultaneously claiming we committed an “assault on two men’s constitutional rights” and lauding McIntire for fighting back. If this narrative makes sense to you, your hypocrisy is showing.

    (For help navigating the information landscape in an era of filter bubbles, echo chambers, and fake news, ask a librarian. Or check out our Real vs. Fake News research guide:

    *See the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education for a definition of information literacy:

  21. Alex Michael Madajian on September 13th, 2018 6:39 am

    Ahh, thank you my dear Ellen Cary for the well-crafted lecture on how proper research ought to be done. Also, thank you for clarifying what it means to have one’s constitutional right of free speech violated, though I wish you could give some examples of professor McIntire robbing students of their right of free speech. I can’t remember any incident of the kind, but it certainly would cast more light on the whole debacle. Tell me, was it similar to when you attacked me my statements by name over faculty email? In a forum which I could not respond to? For simply using my own freedom of speech to say that at Santa Barbara City College the most discriminated people are not LGBT+ members, nor blacks, or females? But people with ideas on the right side of the political spectrum. People who believe in the Judeo-Christian ethic? Those who identify as libertarians, Conservatives, and Trump supporters? Being that Cardinal McIntre fits into some of those groups, isn’t his removal for voicing his opinion and then subsequent ousting proof of Santa bumkin silly college’s bias against people who think differently? Every student who I’ve talked was shocked that a tenured faculty member has the right to say what they would like about me by name, without giving me a chance of rebuttal. As a matter of fact, they were horrified. Nevertheless, because my middle-eastern heritage makes me look white, I must be white. Therefore, I have white privilege. So really, I shouldn’t have any say on the matter of free speech because only people who are left of center have the right to free speech. Daring to disagree with left-wing activists voids all of professor McIntre’s constitutional rights. Again my dear Ellen Carry, I only say these things because I know such a wise, reserved, logical, and data-driven person such as yourself will reflect on my words with great consideration.

  22. Robbie Fischer on September 13th, 2018 11:36 am

    First, Alex, do you realize how much your credibility suffers when you use language like “Ahh, thank you my dear Ellen” on somebody you don’t know? Nobody can take that seriously.

    Second, please know that there appears to be a whole lot you don’t know about Mark McIntire’s past and present behavior, his treatment of colleagues, and his conduct here at SBCC. When Mark crows endlessly about being “fully exonerated,” he always seems to forget mentioning that the retired judge who provided advice regarding the Title IX complaints against him actually found him to have violated our Institutional Code of Professional Ethics (BP3050). Even if we disregard his poor teaching evaluations, it would not be discrimination for a school to decline to re-hire an adjunct instructor—Mark was not a professor—for such behavior.

    Third, when you make a claim as laughably improbable and outrageous as saying that white Christian conservative men are more discriminated against than people who are LGBTQ+, non-white, or female, you should expect people to discuss that or to disagree with you. That is what Ellen (and many others) did. This is not an affront to your freedom of speech, and you have no right to a debate with everyone who disagrees with you or discusses your comments. In fact, complaining about those disagreements makes you sound like the one who is not supporting freedom of speech. And incidentally, if you want a quick, back-of-the-envelope gauge for the outrageousness or improbability of something you’re about to say, try using this: Is the whole world wrong, or am I wrong? Although there may be extremely rare instances of the former, it’s almost always the latter.

  23. Mark McIntire on September 13th, 2018 9:32 pm

    Say Robbie,

    What’s with your fetish for badgering, lecturing, and trying too assert your arrogant, elite academic privilege over one poor little Armenian, home-schooled, Christian, Conservative student, Mr. Alex Madajian who matriculated last May? That’s the same month you blasted “ALL CAMPUS” then student Alex, belittling him for his testimony before the Board of Trustees public comment segment. Now, you petulantly assert your pedantic male privilege over Alex slapping him down here after he’s graduated. Strange, is it not? Why can’t you let Mr. Madajian speak his mind and let it go at that? The answer lies in the ALL FACULTY email thread initiated on May 1, 2018. Subject: Remarks about discrimination made to the Board of Trustees last Thursday.

    Care share that email you wrote to ALL FACULTY without Alex’s knowledge, or have you forgotten what you wrote? The readers of this thread are curious and would love to see how you deliver a school-mom beat-down to students outside of your political myopia.

    Say, I know you think you know everything about my Title IX investigation final report, but here’s something you don’t know. Your emails played a significant role in my adjudication. That’s right! So, thank you dear Robbie.

    Former Professor of Philosophy
    Mark McIntire

  24. Elizabeth Singson on September 13th, 2018 2:04 pm

    Ellen Cary – Are you REALLY trying to tell the rest of us that someone of your (supposed) learned and degreed position DIDN’T know you had the “rights to appeal the results of the investigation” ?

    I certainly would have. We don’t live in a communist nation (yet) and our legal and professional systems tend to always have a way to appeal what we believe is a decision that we don’t feel right about. Cannot the faculty and staff appeal to someone, somewhere if they receive a ‘bad’ review which they think needs to be corrected? Does not our justice system allow those convicted the opportunity to appeal that conviction, and often even appeal the appeals?

    Perhaps it’s time you went back to school yourself if your own education is deficient in something as basic as our right to file an appeal both criminal AND civil decisions.

    Obviously Mark McIntire knew that he could appeal and, if not satisfied still, that he could file a lawsuit to get justice.

  25. Ellen Carey on September 13th, 2018 12:13 pm

    For those who were not part of the All Faculty email thread to which Alex Madajian refers, I offer some factual context and the full text of my email on that tread:

    Madajian made public comments at various SBCC Board Meetings, which are recorded and fully available to the public. In response to Madajian’s April 26, 2018 comment (see at approximately 40:05 min), a faculty member initiated a discussion over All Faculty email about the comment and the larger topic of notions of discrimination in the current sociopolitical context. This email was sent on May 1, 2018. Several faculty members participated in the discussion over several days, many expressing concern about Madajian’s allegations without referring to him by name. I referred to both Madajian and Student Senator Krystle Farmer by name for two reasons: 1) they had already identified themselves in a public forum (i.e. it was not a privacy violation to name them); and 2) as a scholar and librarian, I think it is important to cite our sources. As you can see from the full text of my email, I cited many other sources of information as well. (I will add that I have also made comments in public meetings and, while I hope that my words are shared accurately and ethically, I have not expected to have control over the private or public forums in which those words may be discussed — that is the nature of expressing our ideas in public.)

    My Email (I have replaced the names of other faculty on the thread with their first initials; full names are included for those who spoke in the public forum of SBCC Board Meetings):

    “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” (often attributed to James Baldwin, but actually written by Robert Jones Jr. who goes by @SonofBaldwin:

    Student Senator Krystle Farmer shared this quote at the Board of Trustees meeting today and I think it is apt for this discussion.

    I think we need to make a distinction between disagreeing with someone’s ideas and discriminating against them based on politics or religion. I don’t think anyone who has commented here is suggesting that there is no such thing as political or religious oppression, or that conservative and Christian students should not express their views at SBCC. But the fact that political and religious oppression exist does not mean that conservative and Christian students are being oppressed here and now, in a country in which there is currently a conservative federal government in power, where the dominant religion has been Christianity for hundreds of years, and where there is actual evidence of historical and ongoing systemic oppression of other groups, such as people of color, religious minorities, LGBTQIA people, and women.

    As R. said, equality may feel like discrimination when you’re accustomed to the privileges afforded to those in the dominant group. If you’re used to hearing mostly the voices of those who agree with you, hearing a larger proportion of different voices may feel like yours is being silenced. It may be intimidating for any student who is used to their opinions being supported and echoed by those around them to be in an environment where they find those opinions outnumbered, or challenged, or critiqued. But that experience is not oppression. Discomfort and discrimination are not the same thing.

    We should absolutely listen to all students, especially when they tell us they are suffering in some way. We need to learn more about what’s going on for them and to explore how issues that concern them may be addressed. Caring for our students in this way does not preclude educating them when they express themselves in ways that are offensive or that perpetuate discrimination against other students. And sometimes, as Sandy suggested, we need to draw a line. There are some viewpoints — such as those that are rooted in oppression or denying the humanity of others — that are counter to our values at SBCC and should not be given airtime.

    I watched the video of last week’s Board meeting where the student, Alex Madajian, asserted that “homeschooled students, Christian students, conservative students, and Trump-supporting students are more discriminated against than LGBT+ community students, than feminist students, than people of color. They are the most discriminated minority at this school” (emphasis his). I attended today’s Board meeting, where he made the same argument. He was not merely speaking about his own experience, he was stating an opinion about mine as a feminist and a lesbian. I don’t think it would be “belittling his experience” to educate him about how the larger political/social/cultural/historical context in which SBCC resides makes his argument both offensive and factually incorrect. Discrimination and oppression are factual realities based on systems that privilege some people over others.

    As a lesbian, I have faced actual, sometimes life-threatening discrimination. Even in liberal California I’ve only had the right to marry for a few years. In most states, other kinds of discrimination against me are still entirely legal. In 28 states I can be evicted — even denied a room in a hotel — because of my sexual orientation. In 17 states I can be fired from my job because of it (

    S’s assertion that “Trump has given [haters] the courage to ‘come out of the woodwork’” is also rooted in well-documented factual evidence showing a correlation between the Trump presidency and an increase in hate crimes (See, or, or, or I doubt that correlation is entirely coincidental.

    One of the purposes higher education is to grapple with different ideas. As a social scientist, I see another purpose as challenging previously held assumptions about ourselves and society, using evidence to continually improve our understanding (and challenge students to improve their understanding) of the political/social/cultural/racial/gender/etc. dynamics that impact all of us, however uncomfortable that process may be.

  26. Sandra Starkey on September 14th, 2018 9:46 am

    When I first read this piece and the comments from McIntyre crowing about his settlement, I almost got sick. Here’s an individual who did nothing but spread toxic hate all over the campus, causing deep distress to so many of our hard working colleagues. He bombarded us with his racist, sexist e-mails and his vitriol. It’s vile that he got this settlement. On the other hand, money is not the only currency in this world. I don’t think that any of us who work here are doing so for the money. We are working and teaching here at a community college to follow its mission. We want to help students, and we want a fairer, more just world. Mark M., aka Donald Trump, might feel great excitement about his money. Wow, you sued a community college and won. Your mom must be proud. At the end of the day, in my book, we WON. We still have the same low salary but you are gone and now there is hope for some healing. Sandy Starkey

  27. Jack Ratcliff on September 14th, 2018 12:00 pm

    Thank you Celeste Barber for that clear description of what started this whole issue. This is a nasty and bitter issue and it’s easy to forget that professor Raeanne Napoleon threw the first punch. She repeated accusations that may or may not be true – none of us know. What we do know, is that professor Raeanne Napoleon does not know if they are true or not and she should not be spreading these accusations.

    She probably thinks she’s acting on behalf of the #MeToo movement. But the #MeToo movement is to speak out if you’ve been harassed, not repeat accusations and possible false rumors. This is more of a #MeTooSpreadRumors movement.

  28. Richard Feilden on September 14th, 2018 2:25 pm

    Celeste’s email was not a clear description. No ‘pronouncement’ was made – that is a flat out lie. A series of external reports were presented. The links went to publicly available sources. She was threatened with a lawsuit for drawing people’s attention to information that was publicly available. If the issue was with the original material, surely that would be the place to aim a lawsuit? But sights were instead aimed at someone with far shallower pockets.

    This is not where the issue started though. It has been brewing for years. Mark has repeatedly produced revolting statements online, and demonstrated a lack of respect for students and colleagues. I know of no other faculty member who would feel it appropriate to walk into the middle of another member of faculty’s lecture with a student in tow, sit down in a vacant seat, chat to the student and then wander out.

    Finally, for someone so concerned that people not spread publicly available information that they can’t prove true, you are awfully keen to imagine what might be going on in another person’s head and proclaim it here. You aren’t spreading rumors, you are inventing them.

  29. Veronica Villarreal on September 14th, 2018 4:07 pm

    Is that your basis for argument? “Well, SHE started it!”?

    Celeste Barber’s comment was full of inaccuracies (internalized misogyny much?) that Ellen Carey rightfully called out.

    The #MeToo movement is simply to raise awareness of sexual assault. What you read as possible false rumors, I read as high likelihoods. This isn’t bias, this is sound judgment based the statistic that only 2-8% of all accusations are found to be false.

    And guess what? The #MeToo movement is working. We’ve seen high profile people in positions of power have their propensity for sexual predation and violence exposed.

    Look here, another “freethought” leader having to defend himself. (Celeste, this is The Washington Post! Is that credible enough for you? Read closely to see they considered Shermer’s allegations serious enough to report them here.)

    McIntire very likely put many students safety at risk, that is “what troubles me the most about this mess.” Dr. Napoleon COURAGEOUSLY did what she could to limit the damage, and I am entirely grateful.

  30. Sandra L Starkey on September 14th, 2018 9:51 pm

    Heads up, Trump supporters do not consider The Washington Post to be a credible news source (nor the New York Times, nor any other news that follows journalistic standards of integrity.). That is “fake news” to them. Only Fox news is a credible news source in their view.

  31. Ali G on November 30th, 2018 2:07 am

    This thread is academia

  32. Dan Phillips on December 12th, 2018 10:18 pm

    According to the notes at the bottom of the page, this forum has rules:
    ” The Channels will refrain from approving the publication of comments that are: promoting private materials, containing personal contact information, personal attacks towards our staff, threatening or disparaging, libelous, an invasion of privacy towards the writer or source, obscene or hateful, or content that does not adhere to The Channels or community standards. ”

    It would appear that some of Mr. McIntire’s comments may have violated these standards, specifically “disparaging.” Perhaps The Channels would review his posts and respond accordingly.

According to the Student Press Law center, several professional news outlets have recently revamped or removed their online comment sections in an attempt to create more civilized discourse. The Channels encourages readers to use our comment section. We view it as a forum for our students and local community to discuss the news that we publish. In an open forum like this, readers are free to express themselves with certain guidelines. The Channels will refrain from approving the publication of comments that are: promoting private materials, containing personal contact information, personal attacks towards our staff, threatening or disparaging, libelous, an invasion of privacy towards the writer or source, obscene or hateful, or content that does not adhere to The Channels or community standards.

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SBCC, ex-philosophy instructor agree to $120,000 settlement