To the Orange Coast College Coast Report Editor:
Student Joshua Recalde-Martinez, who used illegally and unethically obtained statements to create a horror story about Professor Olga Perez-Stable Cox's life, now has the temerity to demand that OCC rescind Cox's “Teacher of the Year Award.” For a young and unaccomplished student, Mr. Recalde-Martinez certainly seems to have all the answers about how to manage OCC's affairs. My first suggestion to him is that he actually completes his degree, becomes a teacher (frightening as THAT might be), and returns to OCC to vote on his choice for “Teacher of the Year.” Until then, he needs to grow up.
I was truly blessed to spend my 30 year career at OCC. My colleagues and students chose to nominate me for “Teacher of the Year” four times and I was the recipient twice — the only person to achieve that honor. My students and colleagues would testify that I never held back my opinion when I was asked to comment on a subject! I taught anatomy, physiology, and other biological topics but the questions I received were on environmental law, substance abuse, health care including women’s sexuality, and yes, the political ramifications of all of these. When I presented documented scientific facts, I quoted sources. When I expressed my opinion, I would always conclude with "That's just my opinion, I could be wrong!"
To damn a college professor for expressing her opinion (NOT ranting — readers should actually listen to the tape) about which she was ASKED, and to have that comment illegally and unethically taped and then distributed by Joshua who is not even enrolled in the class — should concern everyone. Because a non-enrolled student, anxious to get his name in the paper and garnish praise from a reactionary lawyer (who is willing to whip up a frenzy of hate at the expense of this kind and gentle woman), SHE should be denied this honor she so greatly deserves? THAT is appalling. I cannot imagine that the administration of OCC and/or the CCC District would allow any changes to occur; however thus far, admin has been cowed by Joshua and his political handlers, and offers no strong public commitments for Olga Cox, nor calls out these students for their delinquencies.
I still love OCC and my students and colleagues and many members of the administration. But I hate this cowardice.
Ann T. Harmer
Professor Emeritus, Biology and Anatomy
Orange Coast College