How do teachers get away with things like this?
On Nov. 24, 2008, Los Angeles City College speech
professor John Matteson interrupted and ended Jonathan Lopez’s
presentation mid-speech, calling him a “fascist bastard” in front of
the class for speaking about his faith, which included reading the
dictionary definition of marriage and reciting two Bible verses.
Instead of allowing Lopez to finish, Matteson told the other students
they could leave if they were offended. When no one left, Matteson
dismissed the class. Refusing to grade the assigned speech, Matteson
wrote on Lopez’s evaluation, “Ask God what your grade is.”
Oh, but that’s not all.
One week later, after seeing Lopez talking to the
college’s dean of academic affairs, Matteson told Lopez that he would
make sure he’d be expelled from school. Matteson’s treatment of Lopez
during his speech follows an earlier incident in which Matteson told
his entire class after the November election, “If you voted yes on
Proposition 8, you are a fascist bastard.”
And he remains in his position (teaching, that is)?
Naturally, the combined effect of Professor Matteson’s
remarks about Proposition 8 and his remarks about Lopez’ informative
speech have created a chilling effect on First Amendment expression. It
is likely that students other than Lopez are refraining from expressing
political, religious, and social beliefs not in line with Professor
This is backwards. It’s Professor Matteson who has clearly crossed
the line of acceptable free speech. How often Christians peacefully
holding placards or praying rosaries….or clergy in the pulpit….are
accused of ‘hate speech’ by the ‘love and tolerance’ crowd.
Professor Matteson has already shown he has no class. The school should see that he doesn’t.