By now, you’ve probably heard about Ahmad Al-Qloushi, a 17-year-old Kuwaiti student who says his political science instructor at a California community college told him he needed psychiatric treatment after he wrote a pro-American essay as his take-home final. The essay prompt was:
Dye and Zeigler contend that the Constitution of the United States was not “ordained and established” by “the people” as we have so often been led to believe. They contend instead that it was written by a small educated and wealthy elite in America who were representative of powerful economic and political interests. Analyze the US constitution (original document), and show how its formulation excluded the majority of the people living in America at that time, and how it was dominated by America’s elite interest.
There’s no option for a student who disagrees with the thesis, but Al-Qloushi chose to argue in favor of the Constitution as a progressive document for its time.
Professor (Joe) Woolcock didn’t grade my essay. Instead he told me to come to see him in his office the following morning. I was surprised the next morning when instead of giving me a grade, Professor Woolcock verbally attacked me and my essay. He told me, “Your views are irrational.” He called me naive for believing in the greatness of this country, and told me “America is not God’s gift to the world.” Then he upped the stakes and said “You need regular psychotherapy.” Apparently, if you are an Arab Muslim who loves America you must be deranged. Professor Woolcock went as far as to threaten me by stating that he would visit the Dean of International Admissions (who has the power to take away student visas) to make sure I received regular psychological treatment.
If the student’s tale is accurate, it’s outrageous. It’s one thing to flunk him — I think the essay is not bad for a 17-year-old immigrant — quite another to treat him like a lunatic because he thinks the Founders were good guys and is grateful America liberated Kuwait from Saddam Hussein.
Woolcock has filed a harassment grievance against Al-Qloushi for mentioning Woolcock’s name in the media.
All this took place at Foothill College, which is my local community college. I’ve taken some classes there. But not U.S. government.