A university in New York has reportedly suspended one of its students after he shared an Instagram post in which he asserted “a man is a man, a woman is a woman.”
State University of New York at Geneseo suspended education student Owen Stevens’ access to required teaching programs after he posted Instagram videos addressing biological sex, according to The Daily Wire.
“A man is a man, a woman is a woman,” Stevens said in one of his videos. “A man is not a woman, and a woman is not a man.”
The school reportedly claimed the social media posts “call into question” the student’s ability to “maintain a classroom environment protecting the mental and emotional well-being of all of [his] students.”
Stevens, according to documents obtained by The Daily Wire, will remain suspended from participating in mandatory courses until he completes a so-called “remediation plan,” which includes Stevens deleting his Instagram posts, de-politicizing his social media presence, and attending a school-sanctioned training. Stevens described the training as “re-education.”
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The dean of the School of Education at SUNY Geneseo wrote an email to Stevens: “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.”
“You continue to maintain, ‘I do not recognize the gender that they claim to be if they are not biologically that gender,’” the dean continued. “This public position is in conflict with the Dignity of All Students Act requiring teachers to maintain a classroom environment protecting the mental and emotional wellbeing of all students.”
The university’s president also sent an email condemning Stevens’ posts.
“Yesterday, I was made aware of a current student’s Instagram posts pertaining to transgender people,” the president wrote. “I want to take this opportunity to publicly restate my deep personal commitment to promoting social justice.”
The president went on to suggest that, if possible, the university would take action against Steves. However, the school leader admitted, that effort is hampered by his First Amendment rights.
“There are clear legal limitations to what a public university can do in response to objectionable speech,” the email stated. “As a result, there are few tools at our disposal to reduce the pain that such speech may cause.”
For his part, Stevens told The Daily Wire he has “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.”
“Overall,” he added, “I want justice and the right thing to be done.”
According to a spokesperson for the university, the school does not believe it is “infringing on any student’s right to free speech.”
“Although we cannot comment on any particular student,” the spokesperson said, “SUNY Geneseo respects every student’s right to freedom of speech and expression.”
“By choosing to enter into certain professional fields, students agree to abide by the professional standards of their chosen field,” the spokesperson continued. “At times, these professional standards dictate that students act and behave in certain ways that may differ from their personal predilections.”