Pennsylvania college student banned from class for saying there are only two genders

Pennsylvania college student banned from class for saying there are only two genders
A student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania was barred from a religious studies class after he said there are only two genders. ( LemonTreeImages/Getty Images)

A student was banned from a religious studies class at Indiana University of Pennsylvania after he said there are only two genders, Campus Reform reported.

What was the instructor teaching?

According to student Lake Ingle, his class watched a TED Talks program on Feb. 28 that featured a transgender woman, Paula Stone, discussing “mansplaining,” “male privilege” and sexism.

Following the video, the instructor opened a class discussion that allowed women to speak first, Ingle told Campus Reform. When it appeared no women were going to speak, he stepped forward. He explained:

The floor was opened, and not a single woman spoke. Thirty seconds or so passed and still no woman had spoken. So, I decided it was permissible for me to enter the conversation, especially because I felt the conversation itself was completely inappropriate in its structure. I objected to the use of the anecdotal accounts of one woman’s experience to begin a discussion in which they were considered reality. It was during my objection that Dr. (Alison) Downie attempted to silence me because I am not a woman.

Ingle said he told the class “the official view of biologists” is that there are only two biological genders. He said he also disagreed with other statements made during the presentation and then the class continued on.

But the discussion was far from over.

The instructor met with Ingle on Feb. 29 and gave him documents that included a letter from the university provost. College Reform obtained the documents, which allege Ingle was disrespectful, refused to stop talking out of turn, damaged the learning environment and made “angry outbursts” for having to “listen to a trans speaker discuss the reality of white male privilege and sexism.”

The provost’s letter bars Ingle from attending the class until the matter is resolved.

Now the university wants Ingle to apologize, but he says the documents do not give an accurate account of what happened. Reportedly, college officials were not immediately available to respond.

Specifically, the university ordered Ingle to apologize and then “listen in silence as the professor and/or any student who wishes to speak shares how he or she felt during Lake’s disrespectful and disruptive outbursts on 2-28.”

What action is he planning?

Ingle, a religious studies major, needs the course to graduate. But he plans to defend what he says was a violation of his free speech.

“The censorship on college campuses is an issue I have tried to take head on in many of my courses as well as offering the opposing, conservative view that many classroom discussion beg for,” Ingle said.

He told Campus Reform he is also standing up for other conservative students who endure similar experiences.

“With regards to my conflict with the university and instructor, I am fighting to make my voice heard. Not only my voice, but the voices of others that oppose popular university opinion,” he explained. “I am not battling my professor to prove that I am right about gender wage gaps or transgenderism, I am fighting to ensure that students may disagree with their professors and if they do, must speak up.”

Ingle’s first step will be speaking with the university’s Academic Integrity Board. The board will decide whether he can return to class or must graduate late, according to the report.