Instructor's Facebook comments stir controversy at Butte College

Jodi Rives posts on US military draw disappointment from school

Instructor's Facebook comments stir controversy at Butte College

CHICO, Calif. - Facebook posts by Jodi Rives, a part-time Communication instructor at Butte College's Chico campus, were brought to the attention of the school's administration.  In one such post, Rives writes that her military students struggle to be prepared for academic work.  In another post, she writes that staying literate for returning military students is a full-time job.   

In an interview Rives said she stands by her posts adding that military personnel are being ill-served in preparing for civilian life.
"I can't show specific student work. But if I were able to do that, which I would not because it would violate their privacy ... clearly, you would be able to see that these are people struggling with academic skills," Rives said.

In response to another person's post, Rives discusses "military guys" having a large pool of people to rape, a comment she defended.

"It's not just the case of one or two incidents," Rives said. "How many apples have to be bad before we suspect that the barrel has problems?"

Les Jauron, an administrator with Butte College and a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Army said Rives does not speak on behalf of the school.  

"When you serve in the military you come out with skills that prepare you for civilian life," he said. "You can work with a team, you can get things done and you know technology."

There are reasons recruiters draw heavily from undereducated populations--two of them being they are often desperate and that uninformed folks ask fewer questions. Students with poor academic performance are almost universally encouraged to go into the military and, lord knows, their skills do not improve while in the service.

- Meier, Facebook comment

Rives, who calls herself an activist, said her posts are those of a private citizen -- not a representative of Butte College. 

"These are my personal thoughts on my personal page.  This is my personal perspective on things," Rives said.

However, her own Facebook profile identifies her as an associate faculty at Butte College.

Ms. Rives is scheduled to return to teaching her class on Monday.  Meanwhile, Butte College said that this matter has gone to the president's office and is being investigated.

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