Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Scott Morgan
Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

An Orange Coast College freshman who videotaped an instructor making critical comments about President Trump had his suspension lifted Thursday.

In a special meeting, the Coast Community College District Board of Trustees took the action to “bring closure” to the case, the Orange County Register reported.

Caleb O’Neil, 19, was suspended for a semester and a summer term after recording the comments of professor Olga Perez Stable Cox. The comments were made shortly after Trump was elected. The video was posted on YouTube on Dec. 6 and on the college Republican Club’s Facebook page, according to the faculty.

“The board believes this is in the interest of fairness and equity for all,” the board said in a statement released Thursday, according to the Register.

The student and his attorney, Bill Becker, threatened to file a lawsuit last week if the suspension was not overturned.

“We think this is a clear example of unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination that targets conservatives and we’re going to challenge it,” Becker said.

“I’m so happy right now,” O’Neil told the Register after Thursday’s decision was announced. “I’m just happy I can  … go to school. It’s great news.”

Cox reportedly received death threats after the video was posted. The 68- year-old instructor, a gay Latina, told the Orange County Register last month she made comments about Trump in all three of her human-sexuality classes in an effort to comfort students upset over his election and to discuss access to resources for those who feel discriminated against. On the videotape, she is heard calling Trump’s election an “act of terrorism.”

O’Neil said he recorded the teacher’s comments because he thought he might face retaliation for missing class time while working on behalf of Trump’s campaign.

“I pulled my phone out because I was obviously scared that I would have repercussions with my grades because she knew that I was a Trump supporter,” he said.

In December, the college’s faculty called on administrators to pursue criminal charges against O’Neil for videotaping professor Olga Perez Stable Cox’s comments criticizing Trump.

College officials said earlier they were looking into the propriety of Cox’s comments, but it’s unclear if that examination had been completed or if any action was taken against her.

— City News Service

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