Religious Studies Major Barred from Class for Asserting There Are Two Genders
Higher education in Pennsylvania is making headlines for all the wrong reasons, as latest case makes clear
University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Amy Wax found herself embroiled in controversy last summer after co-authoring a politically incorrect op-ed entitled “Paying the Price for the Breakdown of the Country’s Bourgeois Culture.”
The article highlighted some of the social ills in American society today, including opioid abuse, homicides in our inner cities — and the fact that nearly half of all children are born out of wedlock.
Her colleagues on the Left were outraged, to be sure.
Higher education in Pennsylvania is making headlines again, as Lake Ingle, a religious studies major, is being singled out for his binary and biblical views on gender. The college student, in other words, is facing severe academic punishment for being politically incorrect.
Ingle was barred recently from attending a religious studies course called Self, Sin, and Salvation — a graduation requirement at Indiana University of Pennsylvania — after he questioned an instructor about white privilege and asserted there are only two genders, as Campus Reform noted.
"As many of you reading this know, I am battling my university to stay in a major required course that if I do not complete I will be unable to graduate as scheduled. During this ordeal, I've hired a lawyer, which has cost me about $1,000. Also, if the university decides to rule in favor of the professor and remove me from the course, permanently, I will have to pay for an online class in order to graduate," reads a post now deleted from Ingle's Facebook page on the advice of counsel.
With only a day into his campaign, Ingle — who blasts the university's actions as a violation of free speech — is more than halfway to his fundraising goal.
"This is intellectual McCarthyism and viewpoint discrimination at a public university and a consequence of post-modernism, which trades the truth for falsehood," said Bill Becker, the president, CEO, and chief counsel at FreedomX, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that is dedicated to protecting religious and conservative freedom of expression.
Ingle's class was forced to watch a TED talk last month featuring Paula Stone, a transgender woman, who gave examples of "mansplaining," "male privilege," and systematic sexism, as Campus Reform made clear. Following the video, Ingle wrote that the instructor "opened the floor to WOMEN ONLY, barring men from speaking until the women in the class have had their chance to speak."
Meanwhile, per the university's academic integrity referral form, which reads like something out of a dystopian novel, Ingle has been charged with the following offenses:
- Disrespectful objection to the professor's class discussion structure
- Refusal to stop talking out of turn
- Angry outbursts in response to being required to listen to a trans speaker discuss white male privilege and sexism
- Disrespectful references to the validity of trans identity and experience
Ingle received a letter on March 2 from the Office of the Provost that stated: "Due to the serious nature of this issue, you are barred from attending this class in accordance with the Classroom Disruption policy."
"It is my belief that the instructor's decision to file these sanctions is an attempt to bully me into redacting my views, making it a matter of free speech," Ingle told Campus Reform.
LifeZette reached out to Indiana University of Pennsylvania for comment, but did not hear back by publication time.
Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.