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Student Kicked Out for Questioning Teacher’s Beliefs
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Summary: A senior university student was kicked out of his class by the professor because he questioned the ideologies she was pushing on the class.

During a Christianity class at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Professor Alison Downie focused on the topic of “sexism from men.” When a student questioned the basis of the argument, she kicked him out of class and banned him from returning. The student, Lake Ingle, must finish the class to graduate this spring.

  
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Ingle, a senior religious studies major at IUP, claims he was silenced and punished by the professor for saying in class that there are only two genders, according to Fox News. Ingle made his remarks during a February 28 class of “Christianity 481: Self, Sin and Salvation.”

Downie started the lecture by showing a 15-minute TED Talk by Paula Stone Williams, an ex-pastor turned transgender. The talk focused on the “reality” of “mansplaining,” “male privilege” and “sexism from men.” After the video, Downie asked for the women in the class to share their thoughts but none spoke up. Ingle decided to speak up by challenging her on biology and the gender wage gap.

Ingle first noted that biologists officially identify only two genders. He then pointed out that even the New York Times has determined that the $.77 wage discrepancy is not factual.

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The feminist professor kicked Ingle out of her class and told him not to come back. She sent a complaint to the school’s Academic Integrity Board (AIB). IUP Provost Timothy Moerland told Ingle in a March 2 letter that he is “barred from attending the class in accordance with the Classroom Disruption policy.”

Originally, Downie wanted a written apology from Ingle for his actions and an apology to the class on March 8, where the class would have the opportunity to speak about how his actions made them felt while he was forced to sit in silence. She argues that his behavior was “disrespectful” and that he refused “to stop talking out of turn” while making “angry outbursts in response to being required to listen to a trans speaker discuss the reality of white male privilege and sexism” as well as made “disrespectful references to the validity of trans identity and experience.”



Ingle argues that what she is doing is unconstitutional. “My professor is violating my First Amendment rights because of the fact that my views and ideology is different from hers. So she took it on herself to silence and embarrass me – bully me – for speaking up in class.”

Ingle added, “It is my firmest belief that every human being has the freedom and right to identify, dress, and represent oneself as they see fit. I think this is all an attempt to silence my views personally because they contradict the ones she pushes in class so evidently.”

Ingle views his case is an example of the frequent misuse of higher education educators. He objects to her “overall abuse” as a professor pushing their beliefs on students but refusing to listen to the other side of the argument. He said, “You can’t say that anecdotal evidence is fact. My professor pretty much just tried to shut me up because she was just letting women speak. I brought up the fact that biologists don’t agree that there’s more than two genders and I said the wage gap she’s referring to – 77 cents on the dollar – that even the New York Times debunked that.”

Someday Ingle hopes to be a professor. “When you see that kind of misuse of intellectual power, you want to be the person that comes back and does it responsibly and with morals. Instead of being the purveyor of your ideology, you can be an educator.”

A ruling is set for March 19. Should the disciplinary board rule against Ingle, he will not be able to graduate.

Have you ever been silenced, dismissed, bullied, or otherwise disrespected by an educator because you spoke up and contradicted the beliefs that they were pushing on the class? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the suppression of free speech on campus, read these articles:

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org



 

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