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'This was a scripted performance:' Ferris State professor uploads new video

Just one day after the news of his possible lawsuit against the University, Barry Mehler uploaded a new video saying it was all an act that he does every semester.

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — The Ferris State professor suspended for sharing a profane, 14-minute-long introduction video with his students has uploaded a new video, entitled 'Hello Internet (press release)'.

Barry Mehler's video was uploaded just one day after the news of his possible lawsuit. Mehler plans to sue his employer if his suspension is not lifted, his lawyer said in a letter sent to University officials Tuesday.

Mehler uploaded his own explanation on his YouTube page Wednesday.

"To be clear and direct, this was a scripted performance," Mehler began, "Precisely the same as Deadwood is a scripted performance."

"This method of introduction, in my experience, gets students excited for the semester after the first day — or the premiere of the show, as I call it."

Mehler says he's been giving this "performance" for over a decade and his students have loved it. He says students start talking about "this crazy professor" and are more interested in the class because of his videos.

"As one of my students wrote 'one of the greatest teacher intros in the history of teaching, I thought your theories on grading and predestination were hilarious.'"

In the introduction video, Mehler said all his students' grades were "predestined," so there's no use in trying in the course. He explained in his new upload that this was part of the act.

"I wish for them to experience a strong preconceived notion and then to have an experience of realizing the notion was wrong," Mehler said. 

"The ability to challenge our preconceptions and to challenge new, contradictory ideas is fundamental to critical thinking."

In the original video, Mehler described at length how he believes the administration is carelessly allowing students and teachers back into classroom while COVID-19 cases are still surging.

At one point in the recording, Mehler profanely calls out the school's administration and encourages students not to come to class, as he claims they are "vectors of disease."

In Wednesday's video, he says he was not actually angry at his students for attending in-person courses, but simply hoped to inform them that they do present a danger in regards to spreading COVID-19. 

"The policies of the administration to require in-person teaching in combination with not requiring vaccinations for anyone is a combination of policies that places profits before people," Mehler said. 

"It sends the clear message to students and faculty alike, 'die for us, because money means more to us than your life,'" he said, ending the video.

View the entire video here


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