Free speech prevails

Instructor’s controversial comments are free speech, Butte College says

Butte College President Kimberly Perry issued a statement on the community college’s website Tuesday (March 18) in response to instructor Jodi Rives Meier’s controversial comments about military veteran students on Facebook the previous week.

In the statement, Perry, who didn’t mention Rives Meier by name, said she was disappointed by the instructor’s statements. “Those sentiments do not reflect the position of the college toward veterans,” reads part of the 450-word statement, which goes on to say that “personal views, however offensive, expressed on personal social media sites are free speech.”

Among other things, Rives Meier had said that most of her military students struggle with being prepared for academic work. In an interview with Jerry Olenyn of KRCR TV, she defended those comments along with others about the high incidence of rape in the military.