Los Angeles, CA – A group of students have demanded a professor be fired after he replied-to-all on a campus invitation and expressed the belief that “accusers sometimes lie.”
University of Southern California (USC) Professor James Moore has taught at the school since 1988.
The Daily Trojan reported that the professor was responding to an invitation to a campus event when he inadvertently sent the email to the entire Price School of Public Policy.
“If the day comes you are accused of some crime or tort of which you are not guilty, and you find your peers automatically believing your accuser, I expect you find yourself a stronger proponent of due process protections than you are now,” Moore wrote on Oct. 4, according to the Daily Trojan. “Accusers sometimes lie.”
USC students Joelle Montier and Audrey Mechling put together a rally of about 30 students demanding Moore be fired on Monday.
“To be clear, I take no joy in standing here and sharing my most painful memory with the world, but I refuse to stand by and let another human being go through what I went through,” Montier told the assembled students. “Rapists must be held accountable for their actions. Rape enablers, like Professor Moore, must be held accountable for their actions.”
Mechling said that Moore’s email “broke her” and that “instead of blaming myself, instead of staying quiet, instead of internalizing my rage,” she came to the rally and “let it all out.” She called Moore “a pitiful excuse of a professor."
The students marched to Lewis Hall to present the dean with their protest signs, according to the Daily Trojan.
Price School of Public Policy Dean Jack Knott has called Moore’s email “insensitive and incendiary.”
They were stopped in their tracks by USC Department of Public Safety Chief John Thomas, who refused to allow the protesters to disrupt classes inside the building.
Instead, Knott went outside and met with the group, and promised the administration would improve education on sexual assault and implicit bias, the Daily Trojan reported.
“Thank you for making this a very important issue, highlighting this and taking the time,” Knott said. “I’ve had literally hundreds of emails from all of kinds of people telling their stories and I want to hear those stories. I take this all very seriously.”
Moore said he watched the rally and that it appeared well organized. However, he told the Daily Trojan that the protester's demands to have him fired were not well thought out.
“The whole point of a university is that it’s a place for points of view and discourse and if they happen to disagree the way to respond is to engage rather than terminate the source of the information that you disagree with,” Moore told the Daily Trojan.
“My primary objective was protecting the interests of folks who might be falsely accused of misconduct,” the professor said. “My goal was protecting students, not traumatizing or bullying them.”
Not all students were angry with Moore, and many pointed out the hypocrisy in the women’s demands for the professor’s termination on social media.
“You are making it harder to be proud of my school. YOU allowed women to be sexually assaulted. YOU are now placating crybabies who can't handle a professor speaking the truth. Sometimes accusers lie. That's a fact,” USC grad student Aaron Rubin tweeted.
“@USC Prof. Moore did nothing wrong. You have created an environment where many students are so fragile that any ideas they disagree with damage their fragile psyches. They couldn't handle @benshapiro, and they can't handle this. They can't handle facts. This is on you,” Rubin wrote, referring to students who protested Daily Wire editor Ben Shapiro’s speech on the campus Oct. 4, claiming the additional police necessary to deal with protesters was dangerous to minorities on the campus.