There’s a hearing scheduled for today at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) which should bear watching. Lake Ingle, a senior at the school, is set for a showdown with Dr. Allison Downie, his professor in Special Topics In Christianity. She kicked Lake out of her class a while back for being “disruptive” and disturbing his classmates during a discussion of “white male privilege, systemic male sexism and mansplaining.” He has been unable to return to class since then. (WaPo)
During the Feb. 28 class, titled “Special Topics In Christianity: Self, Sin, And Salvation,” Downie showed a Ted Talk by Paula Stone Williams, who is a transgender woman.
Ingle said that after the class watched the Ted Talk, Downie asked female students to comment on “the reality of white male privilege,” “systemic male sexism,” and “mansplaining,” adding that male students were to remain silent until the female students were done speaking.
The IUP student said that he waited for female students to comment, but no one spoke up. That’s when Ingle decided to give the professor his rebuttal, in which he disputed the gender wage gap, and pointed out the official view of biologists: there are only two genders.
Downie responded by kicking Ingle out of class, and demanding a written apology for his “behavior which has significantly damaged the learning environment.”
The professor is refusing to allow Lake back into the classroom until he submits a written apology and agrees to come read it to the class and then remain silent as anyone “affected” by his speech is invited to describe how the experience impacted them. Not surprisingly, Lake has refused and is appealing the situation to the Academic Integrity Board, who met to discuss it earlier this month and are scheduled to render their decision today.
Also worth noting is the fact that this course is somehow mandatory and Lake, a senior, will not be able to graduate this year unless he completes it.
This is all simply bizarre. First of all, IUP is a public school and part of the Pennsylvania State family of institutions. Further, despite the name of the class in question, it’s not a religious-themed school. Their mission statement doesn’t really even touch on matters of faith, focusing instead on research and scholastic achievement. Is this really what passes for mandatory course criteria in public schools these days?
The “sin” that Lake committed is also dubious at best. The professor invited comments on the subject under discussion. Granted, she first instructed all of the male students to “remain silent” (which seems to be a running theme with her) until the females had spoken, but Lake claims that none of them piped up so he offered his observations. There is obviously a debate over the reality and scope of the gender wage gap going on today. Anyone who watches any amount of cable news or picks up a newspaper can tell you that. But apparently, any dissent in Professor Downie’s class is verboten.
And gender? Even suggesting that centuries of established medical science (not to mention simple reality) might be correct in stating that humans and most all animals are broken down into two genders is a blacklisting offense. And this school has both clinical psychology and nursing among their graduate degree programs. Is that’s what’s being taught over there or is it just in Professor Downie’s class?
While it would no doubt cost him a bundle and be a terrible inconvenience, perhaps Lake would be better off if they didnt’ take him back and he was forced to transfer to a school where sanity was a bit more prevalent. And that should also serve as a lesson for any parents considering sending their kids to this institution.