Indian American professor reinstated by Texas College - Hindustan Times

Indian American professor, accused of religious preaching on human gender, reinstated by Texas College

Feb 21, 2024 11:55 AM IST

Dr. Johnson Varkey, adjunct professor at St. Philip's College in San Antonio, Texas has been reinstated.

In a major victory for Indian American professor Dr. Johnson Varkey, a biology professor who was terminated from his position has been reinstated after a year-long legal battle. The decision comes after he defended his religious liberty and filed a charge of discrimination against St. Philip's College in Texas, US and the Alamo Community College District (ACCD) with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Dr. Johnson Varkey, adjunct professor at St. Philip's College in San Antonio, Texas.
Dr. Johnson Varkey, adjunct professor at St. Philip's College in San Antonio, Texas.

Professor Varkey, an adjunct professor with 22 years of experience, was illegally terminated in January last year for teaching the scientific understanding that X and Y chromosomes determine sex. Several members of Congress weighed in after the lawsuit was filed and called for Varkey to be reinstated.

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"He is excited by this outcome, and we are glad that ACCD did the right thing. Dr. Varkey looks forward to continuing to educate students at ACCD," Kayla Toney, Associate Counsel for First Liberty Institute, expressed satisfaction, stated.

Varkey was accused of engaging in "religious preaching

According to his lawyers, Varkey consistently taught the scientific principles related to human reproductive systems. Varkey was accused of engaging in "religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric, and misogynistic banter." Despite these allegations, his lawyers maintained that throughout his tenure, Varkey never discussed his personal views on human gender or sexuality with students.

As an adjunct professor, Varkey taught Human Anatomy and Physiology at St. Philip's College to more than 1,500 students for 22 years, where he taught the same principles he was fired for this year. However, on November 28, 2022, four students walked out of his class after he reiterated the scientifically accepted concept that sex is determined by X and Y chromosomes.

‘Varkey’s teachings based on extensive research and study'

In his defence Dr Varkey argued that the college's actions constituted unlawful religious discrimination under the First Amendment and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He asserted that Varkey, as a Christian and a professor, felt compelled to teach accurate and true concepts aligned with his extensive research and study in the field of human biology.

The reinstatement of Dr. Johnson Varkey comes after an intense legal battle, shedding light on the intersection of scientific teachings, religious beliefs, and academic freedom in educational institutions. Several members of Congress had also advocated for Varkey's reinstatement during the course of the lawsuit.

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