University Settles Suit Over Professor’s Right Not To Use Student’s Preferred Pronoun

Shawnee State University will pay a professor $400,000 in damages and attorney’s fees to settle a lawsuit over not using a student’s preferred pronoun.

In 2018, Shawnee State philosophy professor Nicholas Meriwether called a transgender student “sir” during a lecture when she raised her hand, which sparked an investigation by school officials who found that Meriwether had created a “hostile environment.”

Read more about the lawsuit:Shawnee State professor’s lawsuit could have ramifications for preferred pronoun use and more

He was given a written warning that he could be fired or suspended without pay for violating the university’s nondiscrimination policy.

On March 26, 2021, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that Meriwether could sue the university for what he said was a violation of his constitutional rights.

The settlement, which was reached on April 14, rescinds the written warning the university issued in June 2018 and “affirms his right to address students consistent with his beliefs,” according to the Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative Christian nonprofit organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona, that represented Meriwether in the case.

“We believe this not only protects the rights of Dr. Meriwether, it protects the rights of all professors to not be punished for simply declining to express an ideological belief that they disagree with,” said Tyson Langhofer, ADF’s senior counsel and director of the Center for Academic Freedom. Read more»

Megan Henry | “Shawnee State to Pay Professor $400,000 in Settlement Over Student’s Preferred Pronouns” | Apr 19, 2022


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