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Biology professor — reportedly fired for teaching that X and Y chromosomes determine a person's sex — gets his old job back
Screenshot of CBN News YouTube video

Biology professor — reportedly fired for teaching that X and Y chromosomes determine a person's sex — gets his old job back

A former adjunct professor in Texas with decades of experience will soon return to the classroom after he was reportedly fired for teaching standard concepts regarding human sexuality and reproduction.

Dr. Johnson Varkey spent 22 years of his life teaching biological science to students at St. Philip’s College, a community college in San Antonio, Texas. During that time, he more or less taught the same basic course and the same basic biological principles "without any complaints," he told CBN News.

That all changed just over a year ago, when he was informed that an ethics complaint had been filed against him. He was then fired a few weeks later, even though he had not yet learned the nature of the accusations or been given an opportunity to defend himself against them.

Left to speculate, Varkey recalled that in November 2022, four students had walked out of his classroom after he explained that biological sex was determined by X and Y chromosomes. He then wondered whether that discussion had prompted the complaints.

The termination letter sent to him did not address that incident. However, it did allege that Varkey had engaged in "religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric, and misogynistic banter" in the classroom.

Varkey is the pastor of a church, and he has taught his students that human life begins at conception. Nevertheless, First Liberty Institute, which took up his case, claims that Varkey retains his right to hold private religious beliefs and his right to free speech in his capacity as a professor.

"When I saw the termination letter, and I see that the university is accusing him of religious preaching … I think that what they don't understand is, even if he was, they still can't fire him for saying something that he believes to be true," said First Liberty counsel Keisha Russell. Russell also noted that imparting correct information regarding chromosomes and conception is "protected ... under the First Amendment."

Earlier this year, First Liberty filed a discrimination case against St. Philip’s College and the Alamo Community College District on Varkey's behalf. The parties have since "reached a favorable settlement," a press release from the organization announced, and as a result, Varkey will be back in the classroom at St. Philip's by the fall.

"We are happy that the Alamo Community College District voluntarily reinstated Dr. Varkey," First Liberty associate counsel Kayla Toney said in a statement. "He is excited by this outcome, and we are glad that ACCD did the right thing. Dr. Varkey looks forward to continuing to educate students at ACCD."

Several high-profile Texas Republicans are also celebrating the news. Rep. Chip Roy's press office called it a "huge win" and stated that "teachers should NEVER be punished for teaching the truth."

Roy's fellow congressional Texans Rep. Michael Cloud, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Rep. Lance Gooden, and Sen. Ted Cruz also supported Varkey.

CBN reached out to the Alamo Community College District for comment.

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