DETROIT (AP) A Michigan professor who was simply suspended in January to make a profanity-filled video to welcome students settled his legal dispute with a university by accepting $95,000 and agreeing to a three-year gag order.
Within the deal, Barry Mehler retired from Ferris State University instead of face possible termination following a judge refused to reinstate him last spring, in accordance with a March document released to The Associated Press under a public record information request.
Mehler, 75, and the university agreed never to criticize one another. If the professor speaks out on the next 3 years, he must pay $60,000.
Mehler, who taught history at Ferris State for many years, made headlines in January once the school placed him on paid leave in reaction to a provocative 14-minute video, which got a lot more than 500,000 views on YouTube.
He used profanities and made a sexual reference as he rambled on about his attendance policy, grades, plagiarism and COVID-19.
Mehler was upset with the university over its refusal to require COVID-19 vaccinations. He called students vectors of disease and said they didnt have to attend class personally.
I’ll not take questions in class because Im wearing this … helmet to be able to stay alive, he said, a mention of an astronaut-style helmet with air filters.
David Eisler, who was simply Ferris State president at that time, said he was shocked and appalled.
Mehler said his free speech rights were violated when he was suspended.
The complete idea was to obtain their juices flowing, Mehler said in January, discussing the video and his students. However they also knew their grade had not been predicated on predestination. That has been simply humorous.
Ferris State is in Big Rapids, 155 miles (250 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.
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