On March 4th, Mireille Miller-Young associate professor with University of California, Santa Barbara's (UCSB) Feminist Studies Department physically confronted 16-year-old pro-life activist Thrin Short, her older sister Joan, and eleven other pro-life activists so violently that after seeing a video of the assault the Campus Police brought the professor (who is pregnant) in for questioning and filed a report with the District Attorney (see below).
According to news reports, Dr. Mireille Miller-Young, whose field of study includes pornography and sex work, exchanged heated words with the group, taking issue with their pro-life proselytizing and use of disturbing photographs. Miller-Young, accompanied by a few of her students, led a crowd in a chant of “Tear down the sign! Tear down the sign!” eventually grabbing one of the banners and walking with it across campus.
Joan said she called 9-1-1 and Thrin started filming, and that the pair followed Miller-Young and two of her students — who Joan referred to as “the fugitives” — into nearby South Hall. As Miller-Young and the students boarded an elevator, Joan said that Thrin repeatedly blocked the door with her hand and foot and that Miller-Young continually pushed her back. Miller-Young then exited the elevator and tried to yank Thrin away from the door while the students attempted to take her smartphone. “As Thrin tried to get away, the professor’s fingernails left bloody scratches on her arms,” Joan claimed. The struggle ended when Thrin relented, Miller-Young walked off, the students rode up in the elevator, and officers arrived to interview those involved.
“The police did not seem overly concerned about the incident until they saw the video and realized how violent the professor had been,” said Kristina Garza, director of campus outreach for the Riverside-based Survivors ministry. “She was definitely leading the group,” said Joan. “I sincerely doubt any crime would have been committed if she hadn’t been there.”
Joan said police later found their sign destroyed, but she couldn’t say where it was discovered or how it had been ruined.
John Longbrake, UCSB’s spokesman, said the university knew of the incident and that “it is being reviewed internally by the appropriate offices.” He had no comment on Miller-Young’s teaching status because it is school policy not to talk about personnel matters.