Professor who vandalized 'violent' pro-life display fired after holding machete to reporter's neck
A New York college professor has been fired after vandalizing a pro-life student group’s display and subsequently threatening a reporter with a machete.
Shellyne Rodriquez, formerly an adjunct professor at CUNY Hunter College, was captured on video earlier this month berating members of Students for Life of America (SFLA) who were hosting an informational display on chemical abortion.
In the May 2 video, Rodriguez, 45, is seen aggressively approaching the table and cursing at the students who were standing at the display, which she called “violent” and “triggering.”
"You're not educating s---, this is f----- propaganda,” Rodriguez is heard saying in the video. “What are you going to do, like, anti-trans next? Is that what you're gonna do next? ... this is b-------, this is violent. You're triggering my students."
When a male student replied, "I'm sorry about that," Rodriguez responded, "No you're not, because you can't even have a f------ baby, so you don't even know what that is."
Rodriguez then vandalized the pro-life students' table, throwing fetal models and other items across the table, according to SFLA.
“This is clearly unacceptable behavior for a professional in any field, but particularly stunning for someone who is meant to educate students in a professional and unbiased manner,” SFLA Northeast Regional Coordinator Taylor McGee said in a statement.
According to the group, Rodriguez returned to the table a second time but was stopped from throwing more display items off the table.
Students from the group reported the video to campus security following the incident.
After video of the incident went viral, Rodriguez reportedly threatened to “chop” up a New York Post reporter who went to her apartment.
According to the Post, veteran reporter Reuven Fenton and a photographer arrived outside Rodriguez’s home in the Bronx and Fenton identified himself as a journalist.
Rodriguez then opened the door and held a machete blade up to Fenton’s neck, according to the Post. She then demanded they leave and slammed the door shut.
Photos released by the Post appeared to show Rodriguez — still wielding a machete — chasing the crew outside near her home.
On Wednesday, Hunter College announced Rodriguez had been fired, according to the BBC.
The incident involving Rodriguez wasn’t the only act of aggression directed towards SFLA at Hunger College: the group says during that same visit, a student stole one of the fetal models from their table, “chewed on it, and returned after turning it into a “project” designed to look like an aborted infant.”
“Such events are among the epidemic of attacks against pro-life students,” said SFLA President Kristan Hawkins, who pointed to what the group says are more than 100 free speech violations on campuses for the 2022-2023 school year, ranging from personal property violations to censorship by school administrators.
At an event at Georgetown University in April, students chalked pro-choice slogans while others showed off their bare feet as a form of protest at the historically Jesuit-affiliated research university.
During the outreach, one pro-choice student began writing slogans in chalk like "Pro-life is a lie, you don't care if people die" in front of the group's display. The student also wrote sayings such as "I have a heartbeat, too," and "Healthcare is a human right."
A member of SFLA also wrote in chalk in front of the display, writing "Women Don't Need Abortion to Succeed." Pro-choice students walking by the table stomped on the pro-life chalk writing with their feet or poured the contents of their water bottles over it.
Later in the afternoon, pro-choice students placed Planned Parenthood yard signs that read "Bans off our bodies" and "Abortion is healthcare" in the grassy areas near the pro-life display. Pro-choice students continued to write slogans on the ground throughout the day, chalking "Loserz were here" after the Students for Life display was taken down.
Hawkins said prior to the event, Georgetown instructed SFLA to pay for its own security, a challenge that made planning the event difficult.
"You can have free speech, but only if you can afford to pay for it," Hawkins told CP.