Oxnard College professor put on paid leave after viral video

A professor is being placed on paid administrative leave after a viral video showed the instructor berating a student in front of the Zoom class.

The video, shared across various social media apps, showed the Oxnard College professor -- later identified as Michael Abram -- accusing the student of "not paying attention," despite her classmates telling the professor that she is hard of hearing.

"You can hear me a little bit?" Abram could be heard saying earlier parts of the video. "Why didn't you answer all the times I've spoken to you then?"

Abram then referred to the student's translator as "counselor" in the video.

According to Greg Gillespie, the school chancellor, the student who was being berated in the video is a Moorpark College student who happened to be taking an online class at Oxnard College. Gillespie said Moorepark College had been reaching out to the student to connect and provide support.

Oxnard College President Luis Sanchez said the incident is "not representative of who we are. Who we aspire to be."

"The video itself is heartbreaking," Sanchez said. "There's no justification on that."

Gillespie said the student's classmates from the Zoom conference call will be interviewed by the school as part of the investigation. He added that the incident will call for additional training on the school's instructors when it comes to accomodating students of all types.

Gabriela Torres, a board trustee with the Ventura County Community College District, said during Friday's Zoom press conference that "it hurts our hearts to see something like this."

"We want to assure that Oxnard College is a safe college," Torres said. "We want our students to feel safe."

Oxnard College leaders say the school has an educational assistance center (EAC) that helps accommodate students with disabilities. Those interested in learning more about the EAC and its programs can click here.

School officials did not say if Abram has a history of clashing with his students. Oxnard College, however, did say he was a tenured employee.

Below is a statement issued by Sanchez earlier Friday:

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