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A California college professor has been put on paid administrative leave after a disturbing video was posted to social media showing him harshly criticizing a hearing-impaired student during an online class.

Interim President of Oxnard College Luis Sanchez called the video, apparently posted on TikTok by students, “heartbreaking.” No matter what led to this interaction, there is no justification, ”he told ABC 7 TV.

“It was terrible, honestly. It was horrible. We live in 2021, ”Dr Patricia Hughes, CEO of the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, told the TV station.

The teacher, Michael Abram, appears angry in the video as he harasses the student during Thursday’s class. She replies, “I can hear you a little.”

He tells her that she has “too many distractions to even understand what’s going on.”

When she explains that her auditory translator “explains everything you say to me,” he snaps, “So maybe… ask them to teach you the whole class… I see you laughing and smiling and laughing with it. someone else. “

A comrade tries to help by explaining: “Professor? She’s actually hard of hearing, so her translator comes in… she can’t answer right away.

Abram replies, “She’s not paying attention. She’s not trying.

The Ventura County Community College District announced in a press conference Friday that Abram had been placed on leave, pending an investigation.

The district is “deeply troubled by the behavior seen in a video posted to social media by students on Feb. 18, showing an interaction between a hearing-impaired student and a faculty member at Oxnard College,” a statement said on the VCCCD website on Friday.

“The comments in the video do not reflect the District’s values ​​of integrity and honesty in deed and word, respect and the constant pursuit of excellence,” said board chair Joshua Chancer. The district is “opposed to any language or behavior that is offensive or prejudicial to anyone because of sex, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability,” he added. .

Chancellor Greg Gillespie told ABC 7: “We are here to support our students on their academic journeys and their success. We do not tolerate discriminatory, rude or intimidating behavior. “

Neither the student in the video nor Abram could be reached immediately for comment.

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