Thursday, March 18, 2004


California Professor Accused of Vandalism
Claremont McKenna's Kerri Dunn accused her students of anti-Semitic violence; Two witnesses allegedly saw her commit the vandalism; Now she is the suspect; University officials allowed situation to get out of control

The facts have not yet been sorted out but this looks like one ugly story. Here's what happened: Kerri Dunn, a visiting professor at Claremont McKenna College in California, claimed that her car was vandalized in a very obscene and grotesque way. There was an explosion of emotion at Claremont McKenna and nearby colleges as students and professors protested against hate crimes. Police now suspect the professor staged the vandalism herself.

Visiting psychology professor Kerri F. Dunn speaks to students during an anti-hate crime rally at Claremont McKenna College on March 10, 2004, in Claremont.(KTLA)

The various college administrators should be blamed for allowing this situation to get out of hand before anyone knew what the real facts were. Students were allowed to assume the worst and let their emotions get the best of them. University officials should be reminding students that colleges are, on the most part, very safe instead of letting a climate of fear take over the student body. Administrators succumbed to politicized appeals to shut down the colleges when they should have been prudent. Administrators and professors should have done a better job of educating students that an investigation should be completed before forming opinions on allegations. Professor Dunn even went so far as to condemn her own students for committing this atrocious crime!

We'll be following this bizarre story. . . Check out how it unfolded, below. . . .
According to AP- A professor who claimed she was targeted in a hate crime that stirred student protests at the Claremont colleges is suspected of staging the vandalism herself, police said Wednesday.

Kerri F. Dunn's car was vandalized and covered with racist, anti-Semitic and sexist epithets on March 9, leading faculty to cancel classes and students to stage rallies the following day.

Two witnesses interviewed by police investigators allegedly saw Dunn, a visiting professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College, commit the vandalism, police said in a statement.

Between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Professor Kerri Dunn's Honda Civic was covered with racial and religious slurs, the tires were slashed, the window was broken, and over $1700 worth of property was stolen.(Pomona Student Life)

Here is a picture of the Professor, and suspect, in question: Faculty Directory, Academics, Claremont McKenna College, Visiting Assistant Professor Kerri Dunn

March 13- KTLA.com: Vandalism Unifies Linked but Distinct Colleges in the Battle Against Hatred
"But Lindsey Wollschlager, 21, a Pomona history major from Cannon Falls, Minn., dismissed the idea of a hoax. She said that for someone to raise the possibility was 'so sick. They are in denial. People don't want to accept that a well-educated, liberal community can have hate.'"

March 12- Classes Cancelled at All Five Colleges
After a brief lunch at Collins Dining Hall, students reconvened in the North Quad of CMC for a six-hour sit-in. Candace Valenzuela CMC said at the sit-in that she felt disappointed and fearful. "I feared that these students would harm me or someone I know," she said. "I feared that the administration would not react."

March 12- Hate Crime Shakes Campus Community
CMC President Pamela Gann was quick to denounce the event at an impromptu forum held in Collins Dining Hall Tuesday evening. "I've worked in higher education for 25 years, and this is the worse thing I've ever seen," Gann said to an estimated crowd of 500 students.

March 11- Officials and students at five Claremont campuses react after vandals trash a professor's car and spray-paint it with slurs
Dunn said she had been outspoken in her classes on the issue of racial intolerance, and she suspected that the vandalism might have been committed by one of her students or a friend of the student. "'I definitely believe I was targeted. I was speaking out, and one of the things they wrote on my car was 'shut up,'" Dunn said. The instructor said she was raised Catholic and had been converting to Judaism, and that one of the slurs on her car was anti-Semitic. 'How else would they believe I was Jewish unless they were in my class?'" she asked.


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