Professor removes student from religious studies class for transgender arguments

(Wikimedia Commons/Sjrplscjnky)Keith Hall at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

A professor at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) has reportedly removed a student from a religious studies class after challenging her transgender and feminist arguments.

Lake Ingle, a senior at IUP, claims that he has been permanently removed from a class called "Special Topics In Christianity: Self, Sin, And Salvation" after he challenged the premise of a Feb. 28 class discussion based on a TED Talks video featuring transgender woman Paula Stone Williams.

The student said that he raised his objections about the discussion because the professor, Dr. Alison Downie, had reportedly told the class to talk about "the reality of white male privilege," systemic male sexism, and concepts like "mansplaining" based on Williams' talk.

"I protested to the use of anecdotal evidence to then start a discussion and trying to reference the material or the speaker's account as if they were facts. The professor made it very clear that these things (White male privilege, mansplaining, etc.) were ... well, she seemed to me that she made it clear that they were a reality and not part of an ongoing discussion," Ingle told The Daily Caller.

According to Ingle, Downie initially opened up the discussion only to female students and instructed the male students to remain silent until the female students had their chance to speak.

When no student spoke after about a minute, Ingle said he gave a "passionate" rebuttal of the premise of the proposed discussion, but he claimed the professor tried to silence him "because I am not a woman."

The senior student said that the class went on without disruption after he spoke, but the next day, Downie gave him an Academic Integrity Referral Form and Document Agreement, which describe his alleged violations and the disciplinary terms to which the professor asked Ingle to agree.

The Christian Post reported that the document accused Ingle of being disrespectful when he raised his objections to the proposed class discussion and that he talked out of turn and had "angry outbursts" when he was required to listen to a transgender speaker talk about white male privilege and sexism.

The form also claimed that Ingle was making "disrespectful references to the validity of trans identity and experience."

The agreement asked Ingle to issue an apology in front of the class on March 8 for each of the "disrespectful behaviors" described in the form and requires him to "listen in silence" as students in class share how they felt during his "disruptive outbursts."

Ingle refused to sign the documents, claiming that Downie's account of the incident included statements and claims that he did not make.

After his refusal to agree to the disciplinary terms, Provost Dr. Timothy Moerland sent Ingle a letter saying he had been barred from Downie's class and he would not be able to return until the academic integrity charges against him had been adjudicated.

A hearing on the matter had taken place before the school's Academic Integrity Board on March 9 and a ruling is expected to be released on March 19.

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