Student barred from Christian theology class gets offer to take it tuition-free elsewhere

Student barred from Christian theology class gets offer to take it tuition-free elsewhere
Image: Indiana University of Pennsylvania

The president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University offered a student the chance to take a Christian theology course tuition-free Wednesday after Indiana University of Pennsylvania kicked him out of the course following his assertion that there are only two genders.

Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Dr. Everett Piper made student Lake Ingle the offer after the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) accused the student of “significantly disrupt[ing] the learning process” in a Christian theology course, according to The College Fix.

“I’m officially offering Lake Ingle tuition waiver to take our version of ‘Christianity 481’ and other remaining coursework at [Oklahoma Wesleyan University] where we still teach biology and Christian orthodoxy,” said Piper, author of “Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth.”

The IUP student needs to take a Christian theology course to graduate with a religious studies major. He will not be able to take it at IUP if the school upholds a ruling he detailed in a Facebook post that, while archived, he has since deleted upon legal advice.

Ingle’s class watched a video in which transgender person Paula Stone discussed experiencing life as a man and then woman, as well as concepts like “male privilege” and “mansplaining.”

The student’s unnamed instructor originally opened the discussion to female students only, according to Ingle. After 30 seconds passed and no female student spoke up, Ingle says he commented on the video.

“I objected to the use of one person’s anecdotal accounts of the previously mentioned experiences as fact,” he said in his since-deleted Facebook post. “I also took this opportunity to point out the official view of biologists who claim there are only two biological genders, as well as data from entities such as The Economist on the gender wage gap and how the claims made in the video were far from the empirically supported evidence.”

Ingle then objected to what he termed the instructor’s “misuse of intellectual power.”

“During my time as a Religious Studies major, I have had professors insult me for opposing views, call me names such as ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’, and have had my views discredited due my race, gender, and sexual orientation,” continued the student.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a free speech nonprofit, called Ingle’s suspension from the course “highly inappropriate.”

“The classroom in particular must remain a place where ideas are free to be challenged and debated, no matter how deeply held,” FIRE’s director of its individual rights defense program, Ari Cohn, said to the Fix. “Holding some ideas as not subject to questioning would gut the core purpose and ideals of higher education.”

Cohn asserted that IUP’s decision ran counter to Supreme Court precedent.

IUP’s academic integrity board will inform Ingle on March 19 whether he is permanently banned from the course. The student has raised $1,000 to hire a lawyer to maintain his seat in the class.

“I am unable to comment on your inquiry due to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act pertaining to student education records,” IUP spokeswoman Michelle Fryling told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

This report, by Rob Shimshock, was cross posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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