Professor removed after refusal to grade black students on a curve sues UCLA


LOS ANGELES, CA – Gordon Klein, a lecturer at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management who was briefly suspended after declining a request that black students get easier final exams after George Floyd’s death sued the school Wednesday, accusing it of defamation and loss of financial opportunities.

Klein, who has been teaching at UCLA since 1981, was placed on leave last year in response to a student campaign that has called for his termination after he rejected a request to postpone a final exam for black students over the death of George Floyd.

In his lawsuit filing, Klein’s attorneys argued:

“This dispute originated in June 2020 when a non-black student asked Plaintiff to grade his ‘black classmates’ differently than other students. (The plaintiff) rejected this request, knowing that his employment contract, and California law, required him to apply the same grading standards and requirements to all students.

“He also refused because his faculty supervisor recently had encouraged instructors to reject requests for special exam accommodations.”

Klein’s email response denying the request of the student was then shared on social media, some “furious individuals” called Klein “woefully racist” and organized an attack campaign against both the professor and the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

On the website last year, critics of Klein posted a petition titled, “Fire UCLA Professor Gordon Klein.” The petition said in part:

“We ask for your support in having Professor Klein’s professorship terminated for his extremely insensitive, dismissive, and woefully racist response to his students’ request for empathy and compassion during a time of civil unrest.

“The killing of George Floyd displayed a brutality that was so casual and so cruel, it reflected an utter dehumanization of Black life. It is understandable, then, that students nationwide – especially black students – are struggling to focus on their education when there is massive sociopolitical unrest that concerns both them and the future of their plight in this country.

“Professor Klein’s blatant lack of empathy and unwillingness to accommodate his students during a time of protests speaks to his apathetic stance on the matter.”

Klein’s lawsuit claims the Anderson School officials “buckled under pressure” and imposed disciplinary measures against him, including termination from his position with the school.

He said the action was taken despite the UCLA administration advising them “the school may not take any action . . . at this time” against Klein.

The lawsuit contends Anderson School officials ignored the warning from UCLA:

“Despite this firm directive, the Anderson School administration abruptly suspended  (Klein) from his teaching duties, banned him from its campus, and hired others to replace him in future scheduled courses.

“Moreover, the Dean of the Anderson School, Defendant Antonio Bernardo, disparaged the plaintiff to alumni and the general public based on the private communications between (Klein) and the student who had requested preferential race-based grading policies.

“Dean Bernardo even went so far as to publicly disclose the adverse personnel action the school had improperly imposed on (Klein).”

The claim also states that UCLA Senate Committee on Academic Freedom examined the facts surrounding the incident and closed the investigation and re-instated Klein, finding the Anderson School violated Klein’s rights, and that such conduct “chills” instructors from expressing views that may differ from “prevailing campus orthodoxy.”

Klein taught both undergraduate and graduate business classes at the Anderson School, and he concurrently has taught courses at the UCLA School of Law and in the L.L.M. Program at Loyola Law School.

The lawsuit specifies that the professor’s complaint is for “Breach of contract; violation of right to privacy by public disclosure of private facts; violation of right to privacy by placing plaintiff in a false light; retaliatory discrimination in violation of labor code § 1102.5(c); common law retaliation in violation of public policy; negligent interference with prospective economic advantage; and breach of employer’s statutory duty of political neutrality.”

Klein is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees.

The email sent by Professor Klein to the student is included in its entirety below:

“Thanks for your suggestion in your email below that I give black students special treatment, given the tragedy in Minnesota. Do you know the names of the classmates that are black? How can I identify them since we’ve been having online classes only? Are there any students that may be of mixed parentage, such as half black-half Asian? What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half?

“Also, do you have any idea if any students are from Minneapolis? I assume that they probably are especially devastated as well. I am thinking that a white student from there might be possibly even more devastated by this, especially because some might think that they’re racist even if they are not. My TA is from Minneapolis, so if you don’t know, I can probably ask her. Can you guide me on how you think I should achieve a “no-harm” outcome since our sole course grade is from a final exam only?

“One last thing strikes me: Remember that MLK famously said that people should not be evaluated based on the “color of their skin.” Do you think that your request would run afoul of MLK’s admonition? Thanks, G. Klein”

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LET Unity Officer suing NFL over tweets labeling a shooting incident he was involved in as ‘systemic racism’

June 15, 2021


 INDIANAPOLIS, IN – An Indianapolis police officer has filed a lawsuit against the NFL earlier in June in response to the league’s “Say Their Stories” campaign launched in 2020 that honored Dreasjon Reed, the man who shot at police in May of 2020 and was fatally shot by the officer filing the suit. 

The reason behind the suit is that the NFL’s campaign meant to shine a light on alleged victims of unjust police shootings, motivated by the likes of systemic racism. 

Indianapolis Metro Police Department Officer De’Joure Mercer filed the lawsuit on June 14th in the federal Southern District of Indiana Court.

Guy A. Relford, Officer Mercer’s attorney, wrote in the complaint that the NFL’s campaign that highlighted Reed as some sort of victim of police violence implied that Officer Mercer “committed occupational misconduct and even criminal acts during the May 6 encounter with Reed, similar to that which were inflicted upon George Floyd.”

The posting by the NFL came in December of 2020, which read as follows: 

“Say His Name: Dreasjon Reed Dreasjon is one of the many individuals being honored by players and coaches this season through the NFL’s helmet decal program.”

When the post went live on Twitter, the majority of replies were not in favor of the NFL trying to honor Reed, as the deceased suspect became notoriously famous for livestreaming his police chase and shooting at officers before being taken down. 

Not to mention, videos of Reed surfaced after his death that showcased he had a history with wantonly firing weapons. 

In a statement following the filing of the suit, Officer Mercer’s attorney released the following statement: 

“De’Joure Mercer is a hero. He tracked down a very dangerous criminal wanted by the police, who was a threat to the citizens of Indianapolis. He put his life on the line and was nearly killed in that effort.

“He was completely exonerated after an exhaustive investigation into the death of Mr. Reed. For NFL Enterprises then to suggest he was involved in police or racist misconduct is totally false, defamatory and unacceptable. What happened here has nothing to do with racism.

Relford’s statement also noted that while there’s nothing wrong with the league wanting to support social justice causes, the statement said that they had better get their facts right before maligning officers: 

“While we support NFL Enterprises’ efforts to address social justice issues, Officer Mercer is taking a stand for the many, many good cops on duty across America.

He is standing up for his friends and colleagues and sending a message that before you accuse a decorated police officer of misconduct in a national campaign, you had better get your facts straight.”

The NFL has yet to release any comment on the filed suit. 

Officer Mercer is reportedly seeking a jury trial and hopes to attain “substantial compensatory damages” for the maligning of his character and misrepresentation of a justified shooting of a violent suspect. 

The fatal shooting of Reed occurred weeks before the death of George Floyd, and an extensive investigation led to a grand jury deciding not to bring forth any criminal charges against Officer Mercer.  



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