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Student Allowed To Return To Religious Studies Class After Speaking Out During Transgender Issues Discussion

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INDIANA, Pa. (KDKA) -- The president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania has made a decision about a controversy in a class on campus that even he admits, could cause more controversy.

IUP President Dr. Michael Driscoll announced at a news conference Monday afternoon that he has stopped an investigation by the school's Academic Integrity Board -- for now. He also said he will allow senior Lake Ingle to return to a class he needs to graduate.

On Feb. 28, Ingle spoke out during a discussion about transgender issues in a religious studies class.

The next day, he was cited for violating the school's Academic Integrity Code and barred from returning to the class.

Ingle countered that this violated his free speech rights.

And, now, Dr. Driscoll has put a stop to it all.

"Based on a review of governing policies last week, the student was informed that he is allowed to attend class. I hope he will be in attendance this week and beyond," said Dr. Driscoll. "To help ensure that a positive learning environment is maintained, I have asked a senior faculty member with significant experience in the First Amendment, and a long career as a successful classroom teacher to join the class as a monitor and mentor to all."

Dr. Driscoll admits his decision opens him to charges that he's not following school policy.

However, he said he's willing to take the risk to restore what he calls "respect and dignity" in the on-campus debate.


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