"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men."

- Samuel Adams

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Academic Dishonesty at Grays Harbor College

Academic dishonesty should NOT be tolerated in public schools. Tenured local community college history professor Gary Murrell was caught on paper lying to my son so Murrell could berate him and flunk him. I am outraged, and I want this public. And I beg the community to publicize similar problems with liberal teachers who indoctrinate, not educate!

Sean, my son, took Murrell's online American History class this last Winter Quarter. Sean expected a B or C, but got an F. And he only found out his grade when the report card arrived. Fortunately, Sean had A's and B's in his other classes. Documents from the college's servers show Murrell deleted student assignments during the term; flunked Sean on one assignment for Sean choosing to answer another student's question that Murrell didn't like before Murrell had deleted that student's question; Murrell lied about history then accused Sean of not using facts.

Usually it's hard to prove a lie rather than opinion. Not in this case. Murrell is quoted as saying, "Japan was a defeated nation. The Japanese were pleading with the Soviet Union to intercede on their behalf to urge the U.S. to accept their surrender which the US refused to do. The US had a naval blockade around the island. Nothing went in and nothing went outJapan had no airplanesno ships and no fuel to run them even if they had had them.” For any of us who have studied history, Murrell's comment doesn't pass the smell test because he specified numbers -- zero assets.

My son (with my assistance) went through the official channels – he talked to the professor, he filed an academic challenge that included a lengthy report on every grade and written quotes from the professor, and he and I went to the Academic Review Committee hearing. I’ve got printed copies of all electronic records the school said are available off the computer servers.

This is a real situation, worse than the North Caroline teacher telling a student he could get arrested for saying something about Obama. Our education system jeopardizes our children’s perspective of America – who we are and what we value. If you believe America is great, and has done great things, then this matters to you. America’s history is being revised to portray us as racist and evil. Students who challenge this left-wing revisionism are being punished and I want parents and students to speak up about the abuse that has continued far too long.

Here are the facts. US military intelligence estimated the Japanese military had 10,290 aircraft (many shifted from Manchuria and Korea, others from trainers converted to kamikazes); six aircraft carriers, four cruisers, one battleship, twenty operational destroyers, about forty submarines, 350 midget submarines, 400 manned torpedoes, and 800 suicide boats. The kamikaze success rate was one hit in eight. Japan had three domestic oil fields, and at least two domestic coal fields. Japan had several coal liquefaction refineries that converted coal to fuel. The point is, they had some fuel in which to conduct operations, and were projected to have about 600,000 troops waiting for our Kyushu land invasion. The Japanese military certainly didn't consider themselves defeated. The US also did not have a complete blockade around Japan. Proposals by Admiral King and General Arnold to seize bases in China and Korea were considered necessary to effectively completely cutoff Japan but the proposals were seen just as costly as the expected land invasion. General Marshall was quoted that by 1 November (1945) "our sea action and air power will have cut Japanese reinforcement capabilities from the mainland to negligible proportions." That projection is over two months after the end of the war. This indicates Professor Murrell again is wrong in claiming Japan was completely cut off at the time of the bombs being dropped.

Why does this matter? Because intellectual dishonesty should not be tolerated in a taxpayer-funded school. Professor Gary Murrell is willing to use obvious lies to berate a student who supported the use of atomic bombs. And he flunked my son on that assignment. In that email, Murrell is quoted, “I don’t think your question encompasses the facts. I think that anyone who chose that question to respond to would have given a response something like the one you provided in your email, a response based on guesses and assumptions and not on evidence.” My son cited facts but they intruded upon Murrell’s distorted view of history. Grays Harbor College administration appears to accept his behavior.

Here’s another quote from Professor Murrell, “But, more importantly, why did the US refuse the surrender and drop the bombs on a defeated nation? Even Eisenhower said the atom bombs were unnecessary. So what could have been the reason? Racism played a part as Zinn mentioned. And you’ll also see in Zinn that President Truman and the policy makers in Washington dropped those bombs to send a message and a warning to the Soviet Union as the first act of the Cold War: they knew that Japan was a defeated nation and they used not one but two portable crematoria anyway – for them the Japanese people, hundreds of thousands of them, were expendable as humans but useful as a tool.”  I am aghast any American would correlate the atomic bombs with crematoria presumably used by the Germans in the Holocaust.

By claiming America incinerated Japanese because we were racist, is to demean all American veterans. I call on all Patriots to express their dissatisfaction with our public institutions tolerating lies within their organizations. If you know someone who was wronged in one of Murrell’s classes, get them to speak up, and send me a copy. Consider it as creating a legacy for the future.

Sean followed all the rules in protesting the grade. With my assistance he filed a protest; received a printout of all available records; reviewed the documents and sent a detailed report along with a spreadsheet showing he went online nearly every day and was on the necessary webpages to do his work; met with Murrell; and he and I went to the Academic Review Committee. When their issued response failed to address the issues, but instead threw their support to Murrell, we were aghast.

Grays Harbor College currently allows Murrell to delete student electronic coursework during the term and then claim the student hadn't submitted it. This happened despite electronic records showing Murrell responded to Sean’s submissions.

The College puts the burden of proof on the student to prove he had submitted work while the school had sole control over the electronic records, and evidence was submitted showing Sean was logged-in to the proper website page nearly every day.

The College wouldn't allow an advocate (me) to speak on the student’s behalf during an Academic Review Committee hearing.

I can provide a copy of all documentation.

Feel free to send this to others. 

And as a side note, Sean currently is in USAF boot camp for the WA Air National Guard and is slotted to attend a USAF intelligence technical school. Sound like an 'F' student to you?

By the way, many of you know I'm now a novelist. In addition to The Carbon Series I'm working on, I've created a Muckraker Series collection of short stories based on a fictional investigative reporter. I'm writing one called Professorial Dishonesty to document this case. Our local publishing company is www.rainforestpress.com. 

Randy Dutton
CDR, USNR-Retired


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The GH College Board of Trustees and the Dean remain mute on this issue. Who will speak up for the students?

  3. Dear Mr. Dutton, Thank you for standing up for a fair review of history and good luck to your son. Do what you can to keep the pressure on, and tell others your story. These people get away with this because people are not informed about what they are doing. I would also use the "send a tip" link at new media sites to tell them your story. Some of them (breitbart, the Blaze, Daily Caller) might report on it.

    1. I've sent it to all of the above, and more. Thanks for your comment.

  4. I need supporters to call, email, and write GHC officials, the press, and KBKW. If you want GHC to be fair, you must stand up and help!

    I've sent tips to all the ones you mentioned and many, many others. The Daily World refuses to publish my LTE, and any comments I've submitted to other articles relating to GHC. KBKW so far hasn't aired the info.

    The American Legion HQ has said they will take steps to change the college's action. They hate military history being portray wrong.

    So far, none of the Board of Trustees has responded.

    Dean Ed Brewster responded our only course of action is to file a complaint against the instructor. He said he can't change the Academic Advisory Board decision. (I can't do that until Sean is back from military service).

    GHC Foundation Exec Dir. so far has only forwarded my complaint to Brewster.

    It takes a community to change a progressive college.

  5. Send your personalized comments to:
    Jan Jorgenson, Executive Director
    Grays Harbor College Foundation
    (360) 538-4243 jjorgens@ghc.edu

    Dr. Ed Brewster, Dean
    GHC; brewster@ghc.edu

    Trustees: Denise Portmann; Dennis Colwell; Randy Rust; Fawn Sharp; Rebecca Chaffee
    Email: trustees@ghc.edu Put name in subject line.

  6. My first experience with this type of treatment by a professor was back in 1978 when I was getting my bachelors as a newly married student at a fairly prestigous college in Portland, OR. In a sociology class I was told by my professor that my wife was nothing more than a legalized prostitute based on our country's laws; oh by the way... this professor is from Afghanistan. Nothing ever came of my complaints to the Dean of the college after I got a "D" from this prof. Welcome to our Brave New World.

  7. Amazingly, The Daily World knows all about Murrell but refuses to publish what I wrote them, even after I provided all the substantiating documents.

    I tried to get Doug McDowell to talk about it on the radio. He just said, I should have known better than to let my son take a class with Murrell.

  8. Update: Sean got an 'A' on the very next GHC history class he took at GHC. He had a different instructor.

    "Friends don't let friends take Murrell's class."