College student allegedly suspended after saying “A man is a man, a woman is a woman” in online video

State University of New York at Geneseo allegedly suspended a student after he said “A man is a man, a woman is a woman” in a video post on Instagram.

The video was posted by education student Owen Stevens, who as a result temporarily lost access to required teaching programs. The university claims these videos “call into question” Stevens’ ability to “maintain a classroom environment protecting the mental and emotional well-being of all of [his] students.” According to a copy of the suspension obtained by The Daily Wire, Stevens will not be allowed to participate in field experiences of any kind until he completes a “remediation plan,” which includes a school-sanctioned sensitivity training, deleting the Instagram posts, and toning down the politics in future social media content. 

Stevens has since told the Daily Wire that he has no intention of completing the remediation plan. The Dean of Students at SUNY Geneseo also wrote an email to Stevens, which said “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 also claimed the posts were a violation of the Dignity for All Students Act.

SUNY Geneseo is a public liberal arts university. According to the Supreme Court in the 1972 case Healy vs. James, “State colleges and universities are not enclaves immune from the sweep of the First Amendment.” Other laws prevent universities from restricting students based on participation in speech. Section 112 of the federal Higher Education Act states no student in higher education shall “on the basis of participation in protected speech or protected association, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination or official sanction under any education program, activity, or division of the institution directly or indirectly receiving financial assistance under this Act.”




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