Why not ‘My Fuhrer’? Appeals court grills public college on forcing professor to call male student ‘miss’

Nov 23, 2020 by

University and trans student argue that faculty must say whatever administrators tell them to say, professor’s lawyer says.

Under university’s view, it could force him to use racist language, too

A public university’s lawyer bumbled his way through oral argument last week on whether his taxpayer-funded client can force a philosophy professor to address a male student with female pronouns.

Sharp questioning by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals repeatedly left Keating Muething’s Paul Kerridge at a loss for words, including on whether Ohio’s Shawnee State University could similarly force a Jewish professor to address a student as “My Fuhrer.”

Dr. Nicholas Meriwether of Shawnee State University

Judge Joan Larsen, one member of the three-judge panel, expressed skepticism that Prof. Nicholas Meriwether (above) could easily implement the university’s proposed alternative: omitting pronouns entirely from class and referring to students only by first or last name.

It would be challenging to give a “Socratic lecture” without using “he” and “she,” especially in a class of hundreds of students, she said. Kerridge answered that a professor could use “your colleague” as an alternative to pronouns, whose “unequal use” in Meriwether’s class is the problem.

Meriwether lost his First Amendment case at the trial court earlier this year. U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott (below) ruled that his quarter-century practice of addressing students as “miss” and “mister” was not “a matter of intellectual debate” on gender identity protected by the First Amendment, but rather a “teaching method” that was “only of personal interest” to him.

Source: Why not ‘My Fuhrer’? Appeals court grills public college on forcing professor to call male student ‘miss’ | The College Fix

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