Last week, a lawsuit was filed against Montana State University (MSU) by one of its students. He was reportedly banned from the campus after sharing his views on transgenders with his professor.
According to the former student, who we’ll refer to as “John Doe,” he and his professor had a private conversation. And, because of this, he believes his free speech rights have been violated. Associated Press reports that he also believes he was discriminated against because he’s male.
However, an MSU professor says that the comments Doe made during that conversation were threatening towards a transgender female student in one of her courses. Student officials insist this is against university policy. Doe had created a hostile environment for the transgender student.
In the lawsuit filed by Jon Doe, the former MSU student ways he was taking a required course on diversity with psychology instructor Katherine Kujawa. During one lecture, the professor focused on transgender issues. According to Doe, he refrained from voicing his views on transgenders out loud, or writing a paper on the subject.
Instead, he spoke with Professor Kujawa in a private conversation about the matter. Doe asked if he could get “half-credit for the assignment.”
In that conversation, Kujawa claims she proposed a hypothetical situation in which the transgender student in the class came up to John Doe after class, and that he said he would punch the girl in the face if she refused to leave him alone. Kujawa took these comments to mean John Doe was threatening the transgender student, and told the transgender student not to sit next to him in class.
But Doe maintains his comments were taken out of context. In the lawsuit, he says he told Kujawa about a scenario in which he punched a guy at the club who groped his girlfriend, and later found out he was a gay man.
The school launched an investigation into John Doe after the transgender student filed a Title IX complaint against him. John Doe was found guilty and subsequently banned and suspended from campus during the rest of the Fall 2016 semester. He was forced to complete anger management training and had to fill out a campus safety questionnaire before being allowed back on campus.
John Doe seeks $225,000 in damages, saying his reputation is damaged because of the situation and that Kujawa shared private information she should not have.
A spokesperson for the university told The Daily Caller News Foundation it does not comment on pending litigation.