Professor Demoted for Expressing Personal Religious Views Sues Employer

An Ohio college has been sued over its decision to punish a philosophy professor for divulging his Catholic beliefs to students.

The suit filed against Lakeland Community College accuses the school of violating the First Amendment, due process, and equal protection rights of Professor James Tuttle. His attorney, Jeff Brauer, says Lakeland substantially reduced Tuttle's course load, demoted him, and assigned him to classes the administration knew he did not want to teach simply because the professor disclosed his religious views in class. (See: Catholic Philosophy Prof Punished for Expressing Religious Beliefs)

“We would like to see Dr. Tuttle returned to his position,” Brauer explains. “We would like to see [an end to] the interference that he has faced in teaching an Introduction to Philosophy class. We believe that the topics he decided to discuss were his to decide and not the college's to censor.”

The school, Brauer says, must not be allowed to silence an instructor simply because he or she has views that are in conflict with the institution. “Nothing less than the soul of post-secondary education is at stake,” he states.

According to Brauer, Professor Tuttle was not attempting to indoctrinate students. “He talked about it as the perspective he came from,” he says. “He was open to any student's perspective — and he's had students of every religious viewpoint be complimentary of him and positive of him.”

Tuttle, the attorney says, was not out to convert anyone. “This is a person who simply wanted to make it clear what he knew about,” Brauer says.

James Brown, the dean of arts and sciences at Lakeland Community College, is the individual who stripped Tuttle of his seniority. Brown would not comment on the lawsuit.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press).

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