The union that represents staff at the City University of New York distanced itself from former Hunter College Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art Shellyne Rodriguez after the embattled educator threatened a reporter with a machete.
A spokesperson for the union, PSC, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that it “does not condone violence” when asked to comment on the incident, but added that it also does not “comment on members’ ongoing disciplinary proceedings.”
“The union has not released or endorsed any statement regarding any incidents involving Professor Shellyne Rodriguez,” the spokesperson said.
The remarks stand in stark contrast to a petition that appeared on the union’s website just days after Rodriguez became embroiled in controversy over a profanity-laced tirade against a group of students who had set up a pro-life display at Hunter College.
PROFESSOR HOLDS MACHETE TO REPORTER’S NECK AFTER DESTROYING STUDENT’S PRO-LIFE DISPLAY: REPORT
The petition encouraged readers to “stand with” Rodriguez against “right wing anti-abortion backlash.”
The petition, which was posted on Friday, has since been taken down from the union’s website. However, an archived version of the web page argued the professor was “facing retaliation from the administration” due to the incident earlier this month.
“A Hunter adjunct, Shellyne Rodriguez, who confronted an anti-abortion group on campus is facing retaliation from the administration, just the latest in a series of crackdowns on student and faculty activists, organizers, and dissidents,” the webpage said. “Please read more and sign the letter to support Shellyne here.”
The petition went live shortly after the professor’s viral tirade against the pro-life students, which ended with her attempting to hurl literature items the group had on the table.
“This is bulls—, this is violent,” Rodriguez told the students. “You’re triggering my students.”
As backlash against Rodriguez mounted, the petition called on readers to support the professor and called her actions “justified.”
PROFESSOR HURLS STUDENTS’ PRO-LIFE DISPLAY AFTER PROFANITY-LACED TIRADE: ‘TRIGGERING MY STUDENTS’
“Hunter College adjunct educator Shellyne Rodriguez approached the display, constructively critiqued the group members, and eventually physically took down items from the table,” read the petition, which was linked to on the PSC website. “Her actions to shut down the tabling were fully justified, and are part of a long and celebrated CUNY legacy of confronting groups such as military recruiters who disseminate misleading information.”
Controversy surrounding that incident led New York Post reporter Reuven Fenton to knock on the professor’s Bronx apartment door Tuesday to request an interview with Rodriguez, but he instead was threatened by the professor, who put a machete to his neck.
“Get the f— away from my door, or I’m going to chop you up with this machete,” Rodriguez shouted at the reporter.
The entire incident, which also saw Rodriguez chase the reporter outside and kick him in the shin, was captured on camera by a New York Post photographer who accompanied Fenton on the trip.
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In response to that incident, the union told Fox News Digital that it “has a duty to ensure that every worker that we represent is afforded the full protections of their contractual due-process rights.”
The statement comes after Hunter College, which had already opened an investigation into the professor’s confrontation with the pro-life students, strongly condemned Rodriguez and relieved her of her duties at the school.
“Hunter College strongly condemns the unacceptable actions of Shellyne Rodriguez and has taken immediate action. Rodriguez has been relieved of her duties at Hunter College effective immediately and will not be returning to teach at the school,” a spokesperson for the school told Fox News Digital.
The New York Police Department charged the professor with menacing and harassment Thursday.
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