Jury awards Gibson’s Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College

This doesn’t exactly show Oberlin in a great light:

It all started in 2016, so the students involved have likely all left Oberlin by now - seems a shame that they won’t be impacted by their actions. Any tuition increases tp cover it would be on current students for example.
It remains to be seen if current Oberlin leadership will feel any repercussions.

Per the Chronicle-Telegram:

Now the question will be whether she starts throwing other people under the bus. Time to get the popcorn.

Alumni and students should be demanding accountability from the administrators of the school. I can’t imagine any institution defending a case in a manner worse than Oberlin here. I know, I get it, identity politics is vital to the cultural fabric of the school, and they can’t grasp the negative externalities that flow from the group identity narrative, which is contrary to the principle of free inquiry which historically has made the university model thrive. So they can keep their identity politics narrative, and can continually discern whether it is a good business model (ideas, including bad ones, eventually have consequences).

Forget the intellectualism and the legal issues, though. This is a school populated by progressive elitists in small Midwestern town, and they have shown themselves to be simply awful neighbors. And these elitists have been awful to working class people, too, giving off vibes of a completely tone deaf sense of entitlement.

Back in my day many years ago in college (Duke), we elected our first black student body President. One of his platforms was an entreaty to all students to treat the working class people at Duke and in Durham with dignity and respect. He won the campaign not because of his race, but rather because he challenged us to do the right thing. As a poor person on athletic scholarship who didn’t understand the elitists who surrounded me, his clarion call to be a good neighbor was inspiring and outstanding. Oberlin needs this kind of leadership now, as everyday in litigation (including appeals) will imperil the school, especially since its costs reflect a challenging value proposition (like many other schools).

Wow, this is awful.

“Scott Wargo, spokesman for Oberlin College, provided the following comment in response to my inquiry: “The College does not have a comment.””

This would be hilarious if it were not so sad.

I wonder if this decision came down during the academic year would there be student protests outside the courthouse?

The email sent to Oberlin’s alumni association, which continues to insist they did absolutely nothing wrong, will look great on Tuesday when the punitive phase of the trial starts. Hope Oberlin’s checkbook is ready to pay what they owe!

Indications are that the.school’s insurer will deny coverage by virtue of the verdict being grounded in an intentional tort. I am astounded the school let this go to trial, and am equally astounded there has been no apology or acceptance of culpability.

Oberlin is one of the most polarized colleges in existence. That doesn’t happen without the administration buying into it and encouraging it. At that point, everyone has drank the Kool-Aid, and are rather detached from normal reality.

welll… I don’t think that’s a fair thing to say. My sister graduated from Oberlin and she’s conservative lol.

I wonder if Oberlin’s refusal to accept any wrong doing on their part, is going to come back and bite then in the punitive damage phase.

$11 Million is bad enough, but $30 to $40 million? :astonished:

Even worse? If it impacts freshmen enrollment over the next few years…

“At that point, everyone has drank the Kool-Aid, and are rather detached from normal reality.”

My guess is they would have been quite happy to lose, if the damages had been $11,000 or even $110,000 instead of $11,000,000. The administration could then have continued to state that they were just supporting students’ free speech rights and had done nothing wrong. And the bakery would have gone out of business and disappeared as a point of contention. So as @DoyleB points out, the punitive phase may not go well for them.

The college has already seen a downtick in enrollment/admissions results the past few years which is starting to put some financial pressure on them. More bad press isn’t what they need right now, IMO.

FYI, The plaintiffs in closing argument asked the jury to award $12.8 million in compensatory damages. They were awarded $11.2 million.

Well, this is interesting…


Unleash the students?

I really don’t understand why they haven’t “separated” Raimondo from the college. Claiming they are sorry and will make changes (like Raimondo) could possibly save then $10+ million in the next phase.

This is a massive failure by the Board of Trustees, the President and the legal team. Did they honestly think the jury was only going to award $35K to $110K? A business that’s been around since 1885? When the plaintiffs would roll into the courtroom each day with 90-year old Allyn W. “Grandpa” Gibson? :disappointed:

EDIT: I should add that the college was also warned by their Insurer (Lexington) that the insurer may not cover all of the charges. The College knew they could/would be at serious financial risk.

I think this whole thing is a danged shame. Those social justice warriors too often jump on cases without looking carefully at the facts and then schools give a knee jerk reaction of support if it fits their views. I was very disappointed with the Duke faculty and that they did not remain impartial in that infamous case.

In the Oberlin case, some of the support was for the right of students to protest. There were allegations of prior tensions st that bakery from students of color that were also involved. Unfortunately, for the SJWs, the picked the wrong poster children for that issue, if indeed it were true.

Seems like Copeland has been a vocal critic of the administration’s handling of this issue for some time (this appears to be his op-ed that prompted the text mentioned above):

“…all three defendants pled guilty to attempted theft among other charges and that all three declared, under penalty of perjury, that the actions taken by Gibson’s employees to prevent the attempted theft were “not racially motivated.” It is now abundantly clear that the College’s boycott of Gibson’s was disingenuous and utterly unwarranted.”

Oberlin Lt. Michael McCloskey said he did not believe that Gibson’s discriminates based on race, but he ordered his officers to do some digging.

“We looked at arrests for shoplifting at Gibson’s for the past five years to see if there was evidence of racism,” he said. “Since 2011, there have been four robberies at the store, including Aladin, and he was the only black person. There were 40 adults arrested for shoplifting in five years, and 32 were white. There were six black suspects arrested and two Asians, and 33 of the 40 were college students.”

Of the 40 shopliftings at Gibson’s, 32 were whites, 6 were black, and I believe 2 were Asians. Based on what’s been disclosed in the media, Gibson’s only had white, black, and Asian shoplifters - in almost exact proportion to the local demographics of white, black, and Asian populations. The disclosed information of Gibson’s thieves is just too “perfect” in mirroring the local demographics. Were there no Hispanic shoplifters at Gibson’s? Or were they just classified as “whites”? I seem to remember there was an S. Cali law enforcement agency that was in the hot water a while back for classifying Hispanics as “whites” to appear non-discriminatory. I am not suggesting anything nefarious on the part of Gibson’s - but I am wondering if the Oberlin defense team verified that all 32 whites were, in fact, whites and not Hispanic whites.

Most of the shoplifters were Oberlin students and the Oberlin College population is only about 10% Hispanic so it’s possible that there just weren’t any Hispanic shoplifters arrested.

Sue22 Trust - but verify. You can’t just assume these things. I believe Hispanics are considered as whites, so they can be classified as whites. Or they are classified as whites and then classified under the subcategory of Hispanics - and reported as whites.