INDIANA, Pa. — A student at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania says he was kicked out of his religious studies course for contending in class that there are only two genders and for providing his views when his professor had asked to hear from women only.
Lake Ingle says that on Feb. 28, his class was shown a TED Talk recording of former church planter and pastor Paul Williams, who now goes by the name Paula, as he discussed “mansplaining,” “male privilege,” and male sexism. The video was part of a study on “Christianity 481: Self, Sin, and Salvation,” and was entitled “I’ve lived as a man & a woman—here’s what I learned.”
Ingle states that at the end of the recording, his female professor asked for comment from women only. After no girls in the class sought to speak, he decided to provide his point of view, stating that biologists believe that there are only two biological genders. He also outlined why he disagrees that there is a wage gap between men and women.
“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,” Ingle recalled to Campus Reform. “It was during my objection that Dr. [Alison] Downie attempted to silence me because I am not a woman.”
The following day, in meeting with his professor, he was provided with an Academic Integrity Referral Form and an agreement, outlining that Downie wanted Ingle to apologize to the entire class and then listen as his professor—and any students that wished to—outlined how his choice to speak out made her feel.
Ingle is officially accused of “[d]isrespectful 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 the reality of white male privilege and sexism; disrespectful references to the validity of trans identity and experience; [and making a] disrespectful claim that a low score on any class work would be evidence of professor’s personal prejudice.”
Days later, he received a letter from Provost Timothy Moerland advising him that Downie wanted him removed from the class.
“Due to the serious nature of this issue, you are barred from attending this class in accordance with the Classroom Disruption policy,” Moerland wrote. “You will not be allowed to return to class until the pending academic integrity charges against you are fully adjudicated.”
Ingle believes that the university is infringing upon his right to free speech and to present ideas that differ with what is being indoctrinated by his professor.
“My professor pretty much just tried to shut me up because she was just letting women speak,” he told Fox News. “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.”
Ingle, who now has obtained legal representation, also told Campus Reform that “the wording in the [accusatory] documents is not only exaggerated, but more than one line is entirely untruthful and is done so purposefully to discredit my views and paint me as intolerant and ignorant.”
He said that he is not seeking to prove his views correct in fighting the charges, but is rather wanting to defend the right to disagree. Ingle, a senior, also needs to be able to complete the course in order to graduate.
A ruling from the university is scheduled for March 19.