Officials at Golden West College say they are looking into whether comments a professor made on a video posted online, in which she appeared to tell a Long Beach couple to “go back to your home country,” violated the school’s policies.
If they do, the professor’s remarks could result in some type of punishment, Letitia Clark, a spokeswoman for the Coast Community College District, which operates Golden West, told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
“We want to make our students and alumni feel proud, and this does not make them feel proud,” she said.
Clark said school administrators learned about the video on Saturday, some two days after a Long Beach man named Tony Kao posted it on Facebook.
In his post, Kao says he filmed the video as he and his wife were out for a walk with their baby.
“We encountered a bigot and a racist today in our neighborhood in Long Beach,” Kao’s post says.
He wrote that the woman walked by them and casually told him and his wife to “go back to your country” before the couple started recording. After the camera is rolling, the woman objects to the filming and starts walking away.
“I want you to tell everybody why you told us to ‘go back to our country,”‘ Kao says.
“You need to go back to your home country,” she replies.
“And what’s that mean?” Kao shoots back.
Toward the end of the 29-second video, Kao calls the woman’s comment unbelievable.
“We’re born and raised in the United States, and you told me to go back to our country,” he says.
Since Kao posted the video on Thursday, it’s accumulated 400,000-plus views, the Press-Telegram reported.
Commenters on the video identified the woman as a professor at the Huntington Beach college. It was unclear how that link was made, or if someone just recognized her, the newspaper reported.
After the woman was identified, angry students, alumni and others started contacting Golden West, according to Clark. She said the district had received several dozen calls by Monday. Many more people have contacted the school on social media, she said.
Clark said the professor in the video, Tarin Olson, has been in contact with her supervisor at Golden West. She doesn’t dispute she’s the one shown in the recording, according to Clark.