Marine Corps combat veteran Stefan Meza says he literally put his life on the line to preserve and protect our freedoms.
But after serving three tours of duty in two different wars, the aspiring police officer now believes his own rights were violated at Santa Rosa Junior College over something he said to a friend in class.
It was those two words Meza said that got a sharp reaction from his yoga teacher who had been taking roll.
"She told me not to make political comments in class and I said 'Yes, ma'am. It won't happen again. My apologies,'" Meza says.
But it did not end there. Meza said after class the teacher took him aside.
"She told me I wasn't able to talk about a man who was a racist mysogynistic and prejudice against others," Meza says.
Meza says he was floored and days later he told the teacher he thought it was unprofessional. The next thing he knew he was being escorted out of class by campus police officers and being summoned to a student conduct hearing.
According to the Notice to Appear, the instructor accused him of disrupting class by shouting out a political comment and then confronted her in an aggressive manner.
The dean sent Meza a letter, noting that his plans to pursue a career in law enforcement could be impacted if he did not agree to drop the class and either withdraw or accept an F.
"To me that's a threatening ultimatum," Meza says.
Meza denies doing anything wrong, but says he felt like he had to agree to the terms of the deal because he's set to start at a police academy. The college would not comment, citing privacy issues.
"I think this is discrimination at its finest," Meza says.
Meza says he has filed a grievance and just as he did in the military, he will continue to fight for freedoms.