A Michigan school professor who was suspended in January for making a profanity-filled video to welcome college students settled his authorized dispute along with his college by accepting $95,000 and agreeing to a three-year gag order.
As a part of the deal, Barry Mehler retired from Ferris State College relatively than face attainable termination after a decide refused to reinstate him final spring, in keeping with a March doc launched to The Related Press beneath a public information request.
Mehler, 75, and the college agreed to not criticize one another. If the professor speaks out over the subsequent three years, he should pay $60,000.
Mehler taught historical past at Ferris State for many years. He made headlines in January after posting a provocative 14-minute video to welcome college students, which acquired greater than 500,000 views on YouTube.
Within the video, he used profanities and made a sexual reference as he rambled on about his attendance coverage, grades, plagiarism and COVID-19. Mehler tailored a vulgar monologue from “Deadwood” as a part of making some extent about plagiarism and advised college students he would assign grades randomly.
“There’s completely nothing you are able to do—you haven’t any management over your grade,” he mentioned. “My grading system relies on the Calvinist doctrine of predestination.”
Mehler was additionally upset with the college over its refusal to require COVID-19 vaccinations.
“COVID-19 has already killed one out of each 100 People over the age of 60. In different phrases, no matter you consider the chance of Covid, I reside in a really totally different world. My danger is way larger than yours,” he mentioned.
He advised college students, “you persons are vectors of illness to me,” and mentioned they did not have to attend class in individual, as a result of “all the pieces it’s essential earn an A” was accessible on the category web site.
College “shocked and appalled”
After the video was posted, Ferris State suspended Mehler on January 11 and began investigating his conduct.
David Eisler, who was Ferris State president on the time, mentioned he was “shocked and appalled” by the video, which he known as “profane, offensive and disturbing.”
The professor mentioned his free speech rights have been violated when he was suspended. He beforehand advised the AP his feedback have been irreverent and meant to get his college students to assume critically.
“The entire thought was to get their juices flowing,” Mehler mentioned in January. “However in addition they knew their grade was not based mostly on predestination. That was merely humorous.”
Ferris State is in Huge Rapids, 155 miles northwest of Detroit.
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