A suspended teacher made a salty video to “get the juices flowing”

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan professor who was suspended after making a profanity-filled intro video for his students said Friday it was simply a humorous attempt “to get their juices flowing.”

“If a teacher comes in and he’s all powerful and he uses words he doesn’t understand, it doesn’t help him relax and think. … It was a performance,” Barry said. Mehler to the Associated Press.

Mehler, who teaches history, was furloughed this week at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, 250 miles northwest of Detroit, after school president David Eisler said he was “shocked and appalled” by the video.


“The president never liked me,” Mehler, 74, said.

In a 14-minute video at the start of a new term, he covered a range of topics, including grades, attendance, plagiarism, COVID-19 and the HBO series “Deadwood.”

He said he randomly assigns grades before the first day of class.

“That’s how predestination works. … Take your complaints to God. He ordered this system, not me,” Mehler said.

But later in the video he also said that “everything you need to earn an A” is available on a classy website.

Mehler, who is upset with the university for its refusal to require COVID-19 vaccinations, called the students “disease vectors” and said they don’t need to show up in person.

“I won’t answer questions in class because I wear this…helmet to stay alive,” he said, referring to an astronaut-style helmet with air filters.

In Friday’s interview, Mehler, noting his age and his risk of contracting the virus, said his class attendance policy was no joke. On Tuesday, after his video was sent to students, his classroom was full – proof, he said, that most were not offended by his flurry of swear words.

“The idea was to get their juices flowing,” Mehler said. “But they also knew that their grade was not based on predestination. It was just humorous.

Ferris State spokeswoman Sandy Gholston declined to comment.

Mehler said an attorney and academic freedom group, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, are helping him fight the classroom crowding.

“I’ve had a lot of support since this happened from former students who said, ‘You were the funniest teacher I’ve ever had,'” said Mehler, who works at Ferris State. for decades. “People who watched the video write in to say, ‘It was hysterical. I laughed from start to finish.

___

Follow Ed White on http://twitter.com/edwritez

Comments are closed.