Monday, March 06, 2006

Unlawful Retaliatory Discrimination by Jim Keeshen

In our February 2006 blog article, "Another Cease and Desist Notice to SMC," we mentioned that Santa Monica College Professor Jim Keeshen had created a folder with my name on his ET 2 Storytelling class online course supplement provided by eCollege's eCompanion. Since this folder was empty, it served no legitimate purpose. My attorney, Edward Y. Lee, sent a cease and desist letter to SMC's attorney, Joshua Morrison on or about February 24, 2006. My attorney asked that this folder and my name be removed.

Professor Keeshen allegedly retaliated, in part, due to this request. Last Monday night, on February 27, 2006, he flew into an unprovoked rage and called the SMC campus police on me and another student after the
Mary Pickford Speaker Series. Two days later, in his ET 18 Storyboarding class, also taught at the Academy of Entertainment and Technology, he made allegedly derogatory comments about me, disabled students in general, and threatened his students with various flavors of retaliation, should they tell anyone. He did this under the guise of "school policy."

In the spirit of compromise, I wrote him an email on or about March 3, 2006, in which I only addressed his recent derogatory, malicious, and false comments presented to his class in the form of an official "announcement," but I again asked that my name be removed from the ET 2 eCompanion. I again reminded him that I am a current stockholder of eCollege. You can view a copy of my email in our blog article, "
SMC Professor Jim Keeshen's Hate Speech Against the Disabled." A copy of this email was faxed to Joshua Morrison's law office from our law office last night since most, if not all, of the school's official SMC emails have slowly bounced back to my inbox as undeliverable.

In my email, Professor Keeshen was given both an opportunity to apology and to refute any of the alleged derogatory comments he made. Instead, he elected to take his unlawful retaliatory discrimination to the next level and, with full malice, published online his one line response to me: "You are an AH." He did this by renaming the folder named "Des Manttari" to "You are an AH." At the time he did this, he knew I was a student at Santa Monica College and a stockholder of eCollege and, as such, to publish this hateful remark in his ET 2 Storytelling eCompanion would cause me harm, humiliation, and damage to my reputation. At the time he did this, approximately 87 students at Santa Monica College are enrolled in the ET 2 Storytelling course and have potentially read this vicious remark about me. Some of these students are concurrently enrolled in Professor Keeshen's ET 18 Storyboarding class.

To date, Professor Keeshen has made no other known response to either my attorney's two faxed letters or to my email to him. I assume that this is his official position and response regarding this matter. Additionally, SMC has elected to not respond to this ongoing retaliation and their official position is yet unknown. By their silence, and the silence of their attorney, Joshua Morrison, we assume that they are supporting Professor Keeshen's hateful acts and words in violation of their own policies as well as those of federal law.

Here is a screenshot from the ET 2 Storytelling eCompanion Doc Sharing section of the online eCollege course module, taken on Thursday, March 2, 2006 around 11:54 a.m., the day before I wrote Professor Keeshen my email asking that my name be removed.

eCollege ET 2 Des Manttari folder created by Jim Keeshen

And here's a screenshot from the same eCollege module, taken on Friday, March 3, 2006 around 11:49 p.m., after I sent the email to him that same day.

eCollege ET 2 You are an AH folder renamed by Jim Keeshen

It is safe to assume he received the email, as it did not return as undeliverable as all the SMC official emails did. To be sure, I sent it to two different known email addresses that Professor Keeshen uses. Notice that the "You are an AH" folder is in the exact position in the pull down menu as the former "Des Manttari" folder. It is reasonably assumed that anyone in the course seeing this folder would assume that it means and refers to me. I know of at least a handful of students in the ET 2 course who read this blog, so they knew my position on this folder and would check to see if my name had been removed. At least two students in this course had informed me of the folder change and their disgust at Professor Keeshen's childish renaming of such. To the best of my knowledge, no one else at SMC, except administration, has access to editing privileges in this ET 2 eCompanion for this semester other than Jim Keeshen.

And here's another screenshot showing that the "You are an AH" folder is empty, without any content whatsoever, and thus does not serve any legitimate purpose. In fact, we allege that this folder and the original one were placed there for the sole purpose of harassment. To the best of my knowledge, the "You are an AH" folder continues to remain online.

eCollege ET 2 You are an AH folder with empty content

Here's a screenshot taken from the
IMDb Database's memorable quotes for the 1998 TV show, "Can't Smeg Won't Smeg." It clearly shows that the internationally accepted abbreviation for "asshole" is "AH." Even without this confirmation, it was the first thing I thought of when I read this, that Professor Keeshen had insulted me by calling me an "asshole." I was not alone.

Confirmation of AH abbreviation for asshole

Here's a second confirmation of the abbreviation for AH, taken from
Filipino Friend Finder.

Second Confirmation of AH abbreviation for asshole

And here's a website, the
Urban Dictionary, that provides the definition of "asshole," showing that it is the worst possible insult a person can fling onto another. To avoid being distasteful, I have blacked out the last three swear words in this definition provided in the screenshot below.

Definiton of insult for asshole

Perhaps Professor Jim Keeshen would benefit from reviewing the
Faculty Ethics Statement as set forth by the Academic Senate For California Community Colleges adopted the "American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Ethics Statement, codified by AB 1725. The AAUP Ethics Statement makes clear the following:


As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.


Respecting students as individuals is an ethical imperative for faculty. All students, as individuals deserve the respect of faculty regardless of their cultural background, ethnicity, race, gender, religious beliefs, political ideologies, disability, sexual preference, age, or socioeconomic status.

Students look to faculty as role models. Not only must faculty exhibit an appreciation and respect for students from all backgrounds, but it is also imperative that they teach and model behavior which is tolerant and shows appreciation and respect for others within their respective disciplines. Affirming individual students' abilities, strengthening their self identities, and assisting them to reach their full potential is a model worth emulating.


Faculty must be cognizant of the possible perceptions and interpretations their students may formulate in response to faculty-student interactions. Therefore, the faculty member is obligated to create a learning environment free of insensitivity, hostility, and coercion. Faculty must realize that such an environment often can be more contingent upon the perceptions of students than on the intentions of faculty.


The second obligation which is required to maintain academic freedom is to clearly distinguish when one is speaking for oneself and when one is speaking as a representative of the educational institution. The classroom IN PARTICULAR should not be used as a forum for the advancement of personal causes. Our obligation is to inform, not to indoctrinate. If a stormy political issue arises, we can certainly encourage a lively discussion of all facets of the situation. However, we cannot present just our view or advocate only our own position unless we do so in the context of debate or other such pedagogical structures where opposing views may be presented.


I think these guidelines say it all. However, it is easy to say one thing and do another. Ironically, despite all this recent unwarranted retaliatory discrimination and hate speech by Professor Jim Keeshen, Santa Monica College continues to use my name and image and quotes as their poster child of propaganda supporting the rights of the handicapped and students in general at SMC. Here is an introductory quote by me used by SMC on their official website as I write this and which was published in SMC's Fall 2003 Schedule of Classes:

“At SMC, if you’re handicapped or elderly, or if English is your second language, don’t worry. There’s going to be someone there to help you.”

And here's my closing quote that SMC is currently using:

“But whatever you need to do, we’re all just here to learn and grow. And you will be welcomed.”

Here's the screenshot from SMC's website just in case they decide to remove it:

Quote from Des Manttari's SMC Profile for Fall 2003

I guess both Santa Monica College and Professor Jim Keeshen should read these quotes again and practice these principles in their daily affairs.

-- Des Manttari,
Phoenix Genesis

(c) 2006: Phoenix Genesis/MBS LP

Feel free to link or print this; just include the SAVE SMC URL:

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