Ret. general returns to teaching following furor over firing
Image via Gen. Boykin's Facebook page.
Lt. Gen. William Boykin announced Friday that he has been reinstated to his professorship at Hampden-Sydney College after the school initially terminated his contract for what Boykin attributed to his open criticism of the Obama administration’s “Bathroom Bill” dictate.
“I am pleased to announce that I have been rehired as the Wheat Professor at Hampden-Sydney College. I look forward to returning to Hampden-Sydney in the fall to continue my work equipping the next generation of young men to lead this nation,” Boykin posted to his Facebook page.
“My reinstatement is a victory for academic freedom and free thought on a college campus. The free exchange of conflicting ideas must be the bedrock of every college campus in America.”
Boykin, who teaches on a year-to-year basis, was terminated after he made a politically incorrect joke, even though the school has consistently renewed his contract since he started nine years ago. Boykin blamed his termination on the agitation of LGBT activists who contacted the school to complain about his remark that “…the first man who goes in the restroom with my daughter will not have to worry about surgery.”
Critics instantly accused Boykin of inciting violence against transgender individuals, but he insists that his remarks were misunderstood, saying he was not even referring to transgender people.
“I was referring to perverts who will use these policies to get into locker rooms with girls and women, and I object to that,” Boykin explained. “My statement was meant to be humor and not a call for violence, which everyone in my audience understood as humor.”
Although Hampden-Sydney initially denied that Boykin’s termination had anything to do with his remarks, spokesman Thomas Shomo later admitted the school had been contacted by numerous LGBT activists and Boykin’s joke was “of concern.”
“Yes. They were of concern. They appeared to advocate or approve of violence,” Shomo told Fox News, but insisted that Boykin’s joke was not the “determining factor” for his termination.
In fact, Shomo first told Campus Reform that Boykin was not necessarily terminated but his contract simply wasn’t renewed because the school wanted to restore the Wheat Professor of Leadership position to its “original intent,” which was to “fund short-term, rotating appointments.”
Now, Shomo has told Campus Reform that the school has elected to wait until next year to restore the position to its “original intent.”
“At the end of the 2016-2017 academic year, the college will continue with its plan to restore the Wheat Professorship to short-term appointments in order to bring multiple perspectives on leadership to its students,” he said, adding that Interim President Dennis Steven was pleased to hear Boykin would be returning for one more year.
Boykin, although grateful for the opportunity to return to Hampden-Sydney, continues to stand by his initial criticism.
“Never cave in when you know that you are standing for what is right and true, for these are the principles that made this nation great,” he advised. “My reinstatement is a victory for academic freedom and free thought on a college campus. The free exchange of conflicting ideas must be the bedrock of every college campus in America.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski