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Butte College statement about instructor comments

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Mar 19 2014 02:28:46 AM CDT
CHICO, Calif. -

Butte College President Dr. Kimberly Perry released a statement on the school's website Tuesday night addressing comments made by a part-time instructor regarding military veterans.

In the letter Dr. Perry said the college continues to support veterans and outlines options for students who "feel intimidated or harassed" on campus. It went on to say that regardless of what the online posts said, they are protected as free speech.

Last week statements made by the instructor came to light. In one post on her personal Facebook page, the outspoken Rives wrote that her military students struggle to be prepared for academic work.

In another post, she wrote that staying literate for retiring military students is a full-time job. In another, Rives discussed "military guys" having a large pool of people to rape.

When KRCR revealed the comments it touched off a firestorm on our Facebook page.

One woman, Jennifer Vick Cox, described her son as US Marine Corp jet pilot who graduated his university in "the top 5 percent of his class."

She goes on to say that "[Rives] personal thoughts are what is called 'labeling' and is not what intelligent people do."

Another commenter, Crystal Vasquez, said she is a Chico State student and that veterans in her classes "have been very hard workers, respectful and more prepared to deal with life and school than most of the other students."

Others defended Rives' right to free speech.

Josh Stewart claims to be a former teacher at Chico State and said, "This teacher is a private citizen. She can have her views."

Monique Schofield simply wrote, "Free speech applies to everyone...or no one!"

Tuesday night Butte College President Dr. Kimberley Perry responded to the uproar.

In a post on the school's website she said she is "very disappointed about the statements" and that the "sentiments do not reflect the position of the college toward veterans."

Perry went on to say that "[t]he college has complaint and grievance procedures in place" and that students who feel intimidated or harassed can drop the class with or without refund and with clearing of their record or find a similar class that meets their needs.

The post doesn't outline any punishments for Rives only saying that "concerns with faculty behavior in the classroom are handled through the faculty evaluation process."

It went on to say that Rives' "personal views, however offensive, expressed on personal social media sites are free speech. That being said, taking offense to views and comments of this faculty member does not justify personal attacks on her or her family. Threatening any individual with physical harm for any reason, regardless of difference in opinions or views, is deplorable."

The complete statement can be found on the Butte College website.