A former student is suing Montana State University for more than $225,000, alleging that he was suspended for expressing anti-transgender views in a private conversation with a professor.
The student, who is choosing to identify as John Doe for fear of retaliation, says the university’s investigation on the incident was biased and violated his right to due process, and that his subsequent suspension was therefore discriminatory against him on the basis of sex and violated his freedom of speech.
In the lawsuit, Doe explains that he signed up for Contemporary Issues in Human Sexuality in the summer of 2016 to fulfill MSU’s diversity requirement, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.
The course, which was taught by Professor Katherine Kujawa, required students to sign a confidentiality agreement that they would not discuss information about other students outside of the class.
When the topic of transgenderism came up on May 24, Doe, who is against transgenderism, decided not to speak during class or complete a paper assignment on the topic because he did not want to offend “Jane Roe,” a classmate who had disclosed that she was transgender in an earlier class discussion.
Doe says he met with Kujawa to explain his concerns and ask whether he could earn half-credit on the assignment, and Kujawa asked him how he would react if Roe approached him outside of class.
According to the lawsuit, Kujawa subsequently claimed that Doe responded that he would first ask Roe to leave him alone, and that if she did not comply, he would “break her face.”
Doe contends that this was a misrepresentation of the conve…
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