As reported last week, a religious studies major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) was kicked out of a Christianity class by his feminist professor for saying there are only two genders, a basic biological truth which countered her leftist ideology.
For voicing his politically incorrect opinion and alleged disruptive behavior, Lake Ingle was not only kicked out of the lecture, but formally requested to be banned from the class by feminist Professor Alison Downie.
But before a decision was expected to be handed down by the university’s Academic Integrity Board (AIB), IUP President Michael Driscoll stepped in to deliver some rare campus justice: Ingle was reinstated in the class and the AIB ruling was paused indefinitely.
In a Monday press conference, President Driscoll said he was “‘disappointed’ in how the university handled the situation, adding it had ‘fallen short’ of devotion to the First Amendment,'” reports Fox News.
“Driscoll notified the IUP community that specialized faculty members – including Assistant to the President for Social Equity Dr. Pablo Mendoza – will be facilitating Ingle’s return to class, but ‘if these steps do not yield positive results, I reserve the option to restart the university’s formal processes,'” notes the Fox report.
The senior would have had to delay graduation had he not been able to attend and pass Downie’s “Christianity 481: Self, Sin, and Salvation” class.
Ingle told Fox he was surprised but pleased by the president’s actions.
“I’m happy I can get back to class and graduate on time,” he said. “I was surprised the president stepped in before the ruling but glad he made the right choice.”
Ingle was initially kicked out of class on February 28 for his reaction to a TED Talk by transgender ex-pastor Paula Stone Williams, which was shown to the class by his professor. The student pushed back on some of the ideological and political premises promoted in the video, such as so-called “mansplaining,” systemic sexism, and male privilege.
Ingle says that after no women in class spoke up (Downie first asked only the female students to share their thoughts on the subject matter), he challenged the notion that there are more than two genders and explained that even The New York Times and The Economist have debunked the myth that the “gender wage gap” is a direct result of sexism.
Downie booted the student for his “outburtsts.” According to Ingle, Downie was going to have him issue an apology of sorts to her and the class for his statements, but then tried to have him permanently banned from the class just a day later.
This is not the first time Driscoll has sided with the First Amendment. He also defended free speech in response to a controversy about potential conservative speaker Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA.
“In a free society, people with opinions you don’t like are allowed to exist, are allowed to speak, and can call you names,” Driscoll stated. “People are even allowed to write essays that use violent metaphors to describe their feelings about a challenging situation without fear of punishment.”
“I am hopeful that what we all learn in the weeks ahead will inform a thorough review and revision of the underlying university policies to make sure that we are meeting our educational mission in the IUP Way, while complying with the law of the land,” he added.
As for Ingle, he hopes to one day become a professor and not abuse his intellectual power as he’s personally experienced in Downie’s class.
“When you see that kind of misuse of intellectual power, you want to be the person that comes back and does it responsibly and with morals,” he told Fox last week. “Instead of being the purveyor of your ideology, you can be an educator.”