A Bakersfield College (BC) professor was removed from their dual-enrollment class after sharing an inappropriate link to his dual enrollment English class at Arvin High School.
Arvin High is one of the many high schools in the Kern High School District that provides dual enrollment courses for their students. Dual enrollment courses are courses that are linked with a college, where a college professor can teach, provide resources, and give assignments asynchronously.
This advanced course gives students the opportunity to prepare themselves for the future. Students get a jumpstart on college credit that is transferable to other colleges, while also getting the high school credit they need for graduation.
Arvin High provides a few different dual enrollment classes in partnership with Bakersfield College such as Political Science or Elementary Statistics; Expository Composition — also known as English B1A — is one such course offered to seniors. Because the class is online, a teacher from the Arvin High English department is present in the classroom as an aide. In this particular class, the professor assigns and publishes his work on the educational system Canvas on Fridays and makes those assignments due the subsequent Friday.
On Sunday, September 11, a group of students accessed Canvas to get a headstart on their assignment but were met with something out of the ordinary: a link to an inappropriate adult website.
“I was doing my work, right, and one of the assignments was about analyzing sources. I was like ‘okay’ and started to get to work. I viewed and did my work on the first set of links, but then when I went to that one specific link, I was just so confused,” said Esteban Ramirez, the B1A student who first discovered the link.
The link was to an explicit site.
“My friend Esteban sent a picture to our group chat of the link that the professor had published. We all thought that he was joking because it really did look like an explicit site, and it’s hard to believe that the professor did that. So, I stopped my math work and went to check the English assignment myself. I clicked the link, and realized that it was not a joke,” shared Lizbeth Calderon, another B1A student.
Calderon continued by stating that she went to show her sisters what was going on and they advised her that the class needed to inform the administration.
“The problem was that no one wanted to do that or didn’t know what to do. So then, one of our friends was the one who decided to email the professor that he published an explicit site. After hearing that, I texted the teacher’s aide, and I told her about the incident,” Calderon said.
Calderon revealed that 20 minutes after texting her teacher’s aide the link was removed from Canvas and students were instructed to not work on the assignment.
The next day the B1A students were met with shocking news. After the long process on Sunday that ultimately involved the professor, the teacher’s aide, the Arvin High administration, the Kern High School District, and the Bakersfield College administration, the professor was fired from his job. The students then had to wait for the schools involved to find a new professor.
Jane Corona, another B1A student candidly expressed her thoughts: “Well, whenever I first found out I was like ‘how did he do that?’ Why did he not check the links? Like what was going on? That was very unprofessional of him. And then whenever I found out that students had clicked on the link I was like ‘Oh yeah, he’s in trouble.’ But I didn’t think that he was going to, like, get fired.”
B1A student Caecilian Pantoja also weighed in. “I think it was obviously a mistake. I genuinely think he was just trying to give us information, like why would he do something like that? I feel kinda bad for him. I genuinely liked how he taught, and I’m just struggling to adapt. It is very unfortunate. It was a tiny mistake and it ruined so many things. The way they handled it is valid though because we’re minors and whatnot, but it’s a shame.
Calderon, however, thought otherwise: “Honestly, I was happy that he got kicked out of his job. I just didn’t really like his work. I did have a good grade in the class, but I didn’t like the way he gave feedback. He was very pretentious and full of himself in every situation, and that didn’t sit with me.”
Another student, who chose to remain anonymous, shared her frustration on the whole situation. “I was shocked that he could be so careless and irresponsible. It was sad because he took the learning opportunity, a free dual enrollment class, from his students. It made me realize how rare the opportunity is to get a free dual enrollment course because after, we were waiting to find a professor. They were struggling to find someone to step up into the role. I realized how much effort it takes to provide us with a professor and dual enrollment.”
Eventually, a new professor was able to take over the responsibility of the two classes that had been left without a professor. However, the experience continues to stay on the minds of the students of B1A at Arvin High. The school year just started, but it has already become one that these seniors will not forget.
According to a source not authorized to speak, while the professor was removed from dual enrollment due to the error in judgment and lack of diligence, they were not fired from BC as it was a mistake on the instructor’s part. The source noted that this is a less for all teachers who, to lower educational costs for their students, rely on free online course materials.
The source urges instructors to check your links regularly to ensure the content of the site has not been changed and that it is appropriate for students.