A New York university has suspended an education student from mandatory teaching programs for posting Instagram videos expressing conservative ideology.
State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo sent an email to education student Owen Stevens placing him on suspension from his field teaching programs after his peers uncovered videos of him preaching conservative dogma. The school claims that Stevens’ videos “call into question” his ability to “maintain a classroom environment protecting the mental and emotional well-being of all of [his] students.”
According to a copy of Steven’s suspension obtained by The Daily Wire, the education student will remain suspended from participating in in-school field experiences and courses that have field experiences until he completes a “remediation plan.” The remediation plan includes taking down his Instagram videos, toning down his social media presence, and attending school-sanctioned training.
Stevens told The Daily Wire he refuses to take part in “re-education” training.
“After review of all available materials, I find that, based on your continued public stance and social media presence, you do not consistently demonstrate behaviors required by the Conceptual Framework of the School of Education,” the Dean of the School of Education wrote in an email to Stevens.
The university claims that Stevens violated the school’s inclusivity doctrine, which requires teachers to foster “a diverse campus community marked by mutual respect for the unique talents and contributions of each individual.”
The Dean also insinuated that future teachers are required to support all aspects of homosexuality and gender identity. During one of his Instagram videos, Stevens said, “A man is a man, a woman is a woman. A man is not a woman and a woman is not a man.” The Dean told Stevens that his scientific stance on biology is “in conflict” with the state’s Dignity for All Students Act.
“You continue to maintain, ‘I do not recognize the gender that they claim to be if they are not biologically that gender,’” the Dean said. “This public position is in conflict with the Dignity for All Students Act requiring teachers to maintain a classroom environment protecting the mental and emotional well-being of all students.”
Other videos on Steven’s Instagram page include him explaining how Columbus Day isn’t about celebrating every facet of Christopher Columbus’ life and how race-based clubs can be toxic to racial progress.
Stevens told The Daily Wire that he’s received threats from his peers since his videos were uncovered.
“I’ve received threats and horrible incidents of students who all feel like they are making the world a better place by becoming the woke thought police,” Stevens said. “Overall, I want justice and the right thing to be done.”
According to email correspondence obtained by The Daily Wire, the university also sent out an email to all students and staff condemning Stevens for his posts.
“Yesterday, I was made aware of a current student’s Instagram posts pertaining to transgender people,” the university’s president wrote. “I want to take this opportunity to publicly restate my deep personal commitment to promoting social justice.”
In the same email, the president insinuated that the school would like to take action against Stevens, though it cannot infringe on his First Amendment rights.
“There are clear legal limitations to what a public university can do in response to objectionable speech,” the president wrote. “As a result, there are few tools at our disposal to reduce the pain that such speech may cause.”
In a statement to The Daily Wire, a SUNY Geneseo spokeswoman said that the school does not believe that it is infringing on any student’s right to free speech.
“Although we cannot comment on any particular student, SUNY Geneseo respects every student’s right to freedom of speech and expression,” the spokeswoman said. “By choosing to enter into certain professional fields, students agree to abide by the professional standards of their chosen field. At times, these professional standards dictate that students act and behave in certain ways that may differ from their personal predilections.”
The school has openly promoted left-wing ideology in its departments in the past, despite its claims that political ideology should remain outside of the classroom. In an Instagram post, the education school promoted a resource guide for faculty, staff, and teacher-candidates to become “anti-racist” educators.
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This article has been updated to more accurately differentiate between school and state guidelines.