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Pushback: Stalinist St. Philip’s College in Texas loses 2nd lawsuit, reinstates teacher fired for daring to teach basic biology

St. Philip's College, home to blacklisting and censorship
St. Philip’s College, the poster child of academic
blacklisting and censorship

Bring a gun to a knife fight: For the second time in less than two months, Stalinist St. Philip’s College in Texas has lost a lawsuit for violating the rights of a teacher.

First, in late December it agreed to pay fired professor Will Moravits a $185K settlement for forceably ejecting him from the campus and firing him, simply because he allowed open debate in his classroom about the queer agenda. Moravits did not want his job back, as he readily admitted he was now very happy teaching at nearby Texas State University where “his peers treat him with respect.”

Now it has been forced to settle a second lawsuit with another professor, Johnson Varkey, who it fired in January 2023 for simply teaching basic biology in his biology class. Varkey had had the nerve during a November 2022 human anatomy and physiology class to state that human sex is determined by the X and Y chromosomes, a basic fact of biology. Four students walked out of the class in outrage, and then filed slanderous and false complaints to the administration, which then fired Varkey without due process.

According to Varkey’s legal firm, the non-profit First Liberty Institute, the college has reinstated Varkey.

The parties reached a favorable settlement which, among other provisions, guarantees that Dr. Varkey will be back in the classroom by fall 2024.

Other details of the settlement were not released, though it has also been reported that the university did not apologize to Varkey for its actions.

In other words, St. Philip’s recognized that if it didn’t reinstate Varkey, who had been teaching the identical course using the same identical materials for twenty years, it faced major financial loss if it fought the laswsuit. It backed down, but it also appears it still does not wish to change course in general. As I wrote in December when Moravits won his case,

No reforms have been instituted, and it appears the school’s administration is still good with the idea of using unsubstantiated accusations by anonymous students as a basis for disciplining and firing professors. Under that framework St. Philip’s is nothing more than its own mini-Soviet Union. At any moment a single student can get a professor removed. All the student has to do is make up some offense by that professor to the modern Diversity-Equity-Inclusion mantra, and poof! that professor is gone.

The administration’s willingness to back down in this case however might be linked to the state legislature’s ban last year of all Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs at state-funded colleges, as well as the major heat from Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and four Texas congressmen (Chip Roy, Michael Cloud, Lance Gooden, and Dan Crenshaw), who wrote a letter [pdf] condemning the college for its treatment of Dr. Varkey and demanding a response from it by mid-January or be threatened with a loss of federal funds.

St. Philip’s is a public community college with extensive funding from federal and state sources. It appears its administration decided, at least for now, that prudence in these cases might be wise. It backed down, but don’t think for a second it still isn’t demanding compliance with its DEI and queer agenda programs from both teachers and students. It knows that this is what the loudest students at the college want, and the administration is quite eager to give it to them.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • pzatchok

    These two profs missed the big point.

    They should have demanded millions for loss of prestige, academic standing and slander. The students should have also been included since they are the ones who started this whole thing.

    As soon as the students are the ones getting hurt for false accusations they will think twice about even starting the fight. They are only making the accusations now because they can do it for free and never get held responsible.

  • willimac

    What a shame, but not all that surprising. I previously held the public colleges of the Alamo Community College District (ACCD) in high regard. I felt those institutions really helped working-class folks in San Antonio/South Texas with getting common sense degrees and certifications for real world professions. Indeed, my paraprofessional certifications and an Associates degree came from the District’s San Antonio College – and those served as a foundation for my subsequent B.A. and M.B.A from other universities.

    But alas ACCD is taxpayer funded, so the heads of St. Philips College and ACCD have no incentive to apologize or change it’s policies. At least until those folks are held personally liable and/or the taxpayers decide to defund the district.

  • David Reid Ross

    pzatchok: you have a good point with “loss of academic standing”. Those professors are now well-known for their ethics and courage but those are exactly the traits our academia selects against.
    It becomes more difficult for them to find work, and where they find work their work will not be cited (just plagiarised).

  • James Street

    I like the arguments this religious guy makes as he defends women to a leftist woman. Note their body language as she’s hunched over looking at her phone and he stands up straight and looks her in the eyes.
    (47 second video)

    “How to Respond to Woke Women Who Call You Misogynistic for Not Being Woke [VIDEO]”

  • Jeff Wright

    I have seen that hunched posture on nerds in front of religious zealots who think the Earth is flat too–that can go both ways. Women are raped in women’s prisons by so-called “trans women.” Secularists can be appealed to on those grounds.

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