Backlash Erupts After Hunter College Professor's Profanity-Laced Tirade at Pro-Life Students
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A professor at a taxpayer-funded college in New York City was caught on video hurling obscenities at student volunteers presenting a pro-life display, trashing their brochures and other information before throwing and pushing items off the table.
Shellyne Rodriguez, an adjunct professor, told the pro-life students they were "triggering" her students by tabling inside Hunter College in Manhattan earlier this month, according to The New York Post.
A video of the incident from May 2 was posted to Twitter on May 17 by Students for Life of America with the caption: "PROFESSOR GONE WILD: Pro-abortion professor Shellyne Rodriquez curses at pro-life students and vandalizes table at Hunter College."
"You're not educating s--t. This is f---ing propaganda," the art professor replied to the students. "What are you going to do, like, anti-trans next?"
The male student calmly responds, "I mean no. We're talking about abortion."
"This is bull----, this is violent," Rodriguez said. "You're triggering my students."
The male student appears to try to de-escalate the situation telling the professor, "I'm sorry about that."
"No, you're not, because you can't even have a f---ing baby. So you don't even know what that is. Get this s--- the f--- out of here," the professor angrily responded and then attempted to push items off the student's table. "F--- this s---," before walking out of frame, the video showed.
The short video of the exchange has received more than 434,000 views with many Twitter users calling for Rodriguez to be fired or resign.
Hunter College is a public college that is part of The City University of New York (CUNY).
A spokesperson for the Hunter College Office of Communications confirmed to CBN News that Rodriquez does work for the college and "Hunter College takes this matter-- and the right to free speech on campus--seriously."
"Hunter does not tolerate such conduct by faculty. The Provost has completed an investigation and the faculty member has been appropriately disciplined," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CBN News.
"In addition, the faculty member has been warned that if the behavior reoccurs, there will be further consequences," the statement concluded.
CBN News also reached out to Students for Life of America for additional comment.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America responded to our inquiry, noting the attacks on free speech on college campuses tripled this year.
"Since the so-called 'Summer of Rage' there has been an epidemic of attacks on student free speech, including at Hunter College. In fact, the number of such attacks tripled this year, according to a report we put together," Hawkins said.
"Free speech rights you cannot use or are afraid to use don't really exist. That's why Students for Life of America keeps coming back to campus, to protect the rights of pro-life students often living in hostile territory. And that's why we often must engage our legal team, as these rights need to be defended," she said.
"I personally have been protested by Antifa, and recently at Virginia Commonwealth University, faced real danger from Antifa and radical transactivists, who engaged in violence and threats of violence against me and the pro-life and pro-choice who came together for conversation. That horrifying event really capped off a difficult year for pro-life free speech, with more than 100 confirmed cases during the school year," Hawkins continued.
"Where is the Biden Administration and Attorney General Merrick Garland?" the president of the pro-life organization asked. "They should care that this generation learns to engage peacefully in cultural and political conversation."
Campus Abortion Group Calls Professor's Actions 'Courageous' While Twisting What Happened in the Video
After the video was released on social media, the group CUNY For Abortion Rights that's allegedly made up of university students, faculty, and staff, posted to Instagram with a graphic reading, "Solidarity with Shellyne Rodriguez, Hunter College Adjunct," saying the professor's actions were "courageous."
Claiming she "constructively critiqued the group members," and "eventually physically took down items from the table. CUNY for Abortion Rights stands with Shellyne for this courageous action."
"Her actions to shut down the tabling were fully justified…" the group continued. "In solidarity with Shellyne, we commit to disrupting, dismantling, and uprooting any of these far-right groups when they attempt to plant seeds of harm at CUNY."
Social media users have negatively responded to the group's post.
"No one has the right to destroy someone's signs or hinder free speech - that professor should be fired. It doesn't matter if it was or wasn't misleading. Your actions were not justified," one user wrote.
"Professor Shellyne Rodriguez should resign because she demonstrated temperament unbecoming an educator. Everyone has the right to express their right to free speech without violence which she clearly violated," another user said.
"I hope that this professor is fired. If you don't agree with someone's opinion, either walk away from the discussion or try to engage in a civilized conversation with the other person. Don't get violent and cuss at them. I have no wish to go to a college that supports this kind of violence and employs violent employees such as Shellyne Rodriguez," a user commented.
The pro-abortion group also noted on a later Instagram post that Rodriguez was called to the college's provost's office and was questioned by the provost and the dean of Diversity & Campus Relations. The group claimed it was "right-wing anti-abortion backlash" the professor was experiencing.
Many social media users didn't agree with the group or Rodriguez's actions.
"So now people can only have one opinion and get attacked for having one that differs? This is insane and I am pro choice… Nobody should get attacked like this in a free country," one user responded.
"The behavior of Professor Shellyne Rodriguez was despicable. Harboring an opinion that differs from your own is not where the problem lies. The problem is when you become erratic and physically violent. Professor Rodriguez claimed that the students for life were being 'violent'. She proceeded to push their fliers off their table and engaged in violence herself. If she's not fired, she should be put on leave for a set amount of time," another user argued.
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