A student at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania is prohibited from his Christianity class after he refuted his professor and said there were only two genders.
Lake Ingle, a senior religious studies major, said he was punished by Professor Alison Downie for questioning her February lecture during her Christianity 481: Self, Sin and Salvation” class.
Downie had showed the students a 15-minute TED Talk from ex-pastor and transgender Paula Stone Williams. Williams’ talk was about “male privilege” and “sexism from men.”
Downie then asked the females in the class to give their thoughts on the TED talk. No women spoke up, so Ingle told the professor that the official view of biologists is that there are only two genders.
Downie told Ingle to leave the class and to not return. He was referred to the university’s Academic Integrity Board.
“You are barred from attending this class in accordance with the Classroom Disruption policy,” IUP Provost Timothy Moerland told Ingle in a March 2 letter.
The policy specifies that the “alleged violation” included “disrespectful objection,” “refusal to stop talking, “angry outbursts” and “disrespectful references to the validity of trans identity and experience.”
“My professor is violating my First Amendment rights because of the fact that my views and ideology is different from hers,” Ingle told Fox News. “So she took it on herself to silence and embarrass me – bully me – for speaking up in class.
“It is my firmest belief that every human being has the freedom and right to identify, dress, and represent oneself as they see fit,” Ingle said. “I think this is all an attempt to silence my views personally because they contradict the ones she pushes in class so evidently.”
Ingle has been directed to write an apology to Downie, which explains the “importance of an atmosphere of safety” in the classroom and how he will “demonstrate respect for the professor.”
He has also been told to apologize to the class if he returns.
A ruling is expected this week from the AIB. Because he needs to complete the class to graduate, if the board rules against him, he will not graduate in May.
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Publication date: March 19, 2018