Norwalk's Cafero Gets Apology From Eastern Professor With Viral Rant

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NORWALK, Conn. -- House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, demanded and received an apology from an English professor for comments he made in a creative writing class at Eastern Connecticut State University, according to

Professor Brent Terry, who was secretly recorded by a student on Monday, warned that a GOP majority in the U.S. Senate could threaten universities such as Eastern. The student posted the video online at, where it drew national attention.  

Cafero called the comments "offensive" and spoke out on the state House floor against Terry, who quickly issued an apology, said. 

“During my creative writing class yesterday, I allowed my own political opinions to color the discussion. I regret the language I used, and I apologize to any students in the room who were offended," Terry said in a statement posted on the Eastern Facebook page. "As a liberal arts university, Eastern is known for encouraging debate and discussion about a host of social and political issues.

"My role in my own classroom is to keep the debate lively yet respectful. I did not meet that standard yesterday, and for that I am truly sorry.”

Eastern Connecticut State University posted the following statement on the Facebook page as well: "Based on Eastern’s values, the University expects faculty to create a classroom environment that promotes a free-flowing dialog of diverse opinions. Civility, accuracy and balance are essential elements of such a dialog. Academic freedoms enjoyed by faculty in American universities exist to encourage the open discourse that is the hallmark of our democracy. As the University continues to teach its students citizenship skills, we are committed to ensuring a conversation on our campus—in and outside the classroom—that is reasoned, educational, and most of all, respectful."

The Conservative-Libertarians Student Club on campus also has a post on the Facebook thread, defending the professor. 

"We at the Eastern Conservative-Libertarians Club would like to express that we do not condone the actions of the student in regard to the comments made by Professor Brent Terry. ... The club made no actions to promote or support the views expressed by said student. The club believes that every American has the right to express their views and it is up to us, especially as college-educated students, to decide whether to accept opinions made by others or not."

The club members also offered "great sympathy for what the faculty and administration have to endure the negative media attention."

Read the full story here at the Connecticut Mirror website. 

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Comments (5)

He should have never apologized for stating his opinion.. The student that secretly recorded this should be banned from the school.

I agree he should have never apologized.. The student should be kicked out of school.

Is there some journalistic metric used to determine whether something has "gone viral"? Or it simply a convenient ingredient used by headline writers, and applied to any video posted?