Cypress College: Professor Placed On Leave Following Viral Video of Classroom Exchange With Student About Police


Cypress College

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Case Overview


On April 30, 2021, Cypress College placed adjunct professor Faryha Salim on administrative leave after a video of the professor’s exchange with a student during a Human Communication class was widely criticized online. The college said Salim was not being punished  and that the leave was for safety reasons, even though Salim’s classes were taught online. On May 13, FIRE wrote to Cypress College to explain that the exchange falls squarely within the First Amendment’s protections of free expression and academic freedom, and that the college’s actions unconstitutionally effectuated a “heckler’s veto.” On June 2, counsel for the North Orange County Community College District, of which Cypress College is a part, responded that it is still reviewing the situation.