This professor told a story in class and a student was offended. The student accused the teacher of being transphobic.

The professor alleges that he was then forced to resign over supposed sexual misconduct.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

When Title IX Is a Threat

The newest federal guidance for colleges and universities investigating sexual misconduct emphasizes due process for both the accuser and accused. Among other requirements, institutions are legally obligated to presume the accused is innocent prior to starting any investigation.

That’s not what happened at Pacific University in Oregon, where one professor of education who made controversial comments about gender says he was told to quit or be found culpable in an investigation under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law prohibiting gender-based discrimination.

“My guy has been disappeared,” said the professor’s lawyer, Robin DesCamp, adding that it’s been more than 130 days “since my client was kicked off campus like a criminal.”…

This is the story that set things off:

Paxton, via DesCamp, says that he was called to an October virtual meeting with Leif Gustavson, dean of the College of Education, and Jennifer Yruegas, who serves as an associate dean in the College of Business and Pacific’s general counsel and associate vice president of human resources. At the meeting, Yruegas allegedly accused Paxton of violating students’ civil rights in telling an anecdote in class days prior.

The story, which Paxton says he’s told before without incident, was meant to illustrate the psychological schema theory of how the mind works, particularly Jean Piaget’s notion that schemas develop through a process of assimilation and accommodation. Paxton says that gender is one of the most studied aspects of schema theory, in that humans quickly distinguish between male and female, so he told his students how he and some old graduate school friends once got a surprise after attending a meeting of the American Educational Research Association in New Orleans.

Looking for a bar to listen to some jazz music after a good dinner, the all-male group headed to a promising spot across the street, Paxton wrote in a summary of the story provided by DesCamp. “One of the things that got our attention was a group of frankly rather fine-looking ladies standing out front smoking. ‘Looks promising,’ we said.” Yet upon getting closer to “where these ladies in short-shorts were still hanging out smoking, we noticed a sign above the door. It said: ‘Y’all come in. World’s Best Female Impersonators.’”

Suddenly, “our attitudes changed. Our schemas were put in disequilibrium,” Paxton said. “A few nervous comments were exchanged and we quickly decided to go somewhere else.”

Paxon said he picked this story because its captures students’ attention. But a student in the class found it transphobic and reported him.


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