Prof fired after teaching from 'school-approved and science-based curriculum'

Varkey instead suggests that he was fired after several students left his class early as he taught that X and Y chromosomes determine one’s sex.

St. Philip's College removed Dr. Johnson Varkey after 'numerous complaints' accused him of 'religious preaching' during human anatomy discussions.

On June 20, the First Liberty Institute, a religious liberty legal organization, issued a letter to St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas asserting that Dr. Johnson Varkey was unlawfully terminated “for teaching human biology just as he did in his previous twenty-year career as a professor.”

First Liberty is urging the community college to reinstate Varkey’s position after the school fired him for teaching that X and Y chromosomes determine one’s sex.

Varkey, a practicing Christian and host of a Biblical-based radio program, taught human anatomy at St. Philip’s College, unimpeded, from 2003 until November 2022 when four students exited class during his science lecture.

The school claimed Varkey was terminated for his “religious preaching,” but First Liberty Counsel Keisha Russell argues that the teachings in question are consistent with “school-approved and science-based curriculum,” as well as “widely accepted biology.” 

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On Jan. 27, Varkey received a memo from the school notifying him of his termination. This document cited students’ complaints and deemed his classroom comments to be “offensive” and “unacceptable.” First Liberty responded by saying that these allegations lack compelling justification for Varkey’s firing.

The termination letter also referenced “numerous complaints” alleging that Varkey engaged in “discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric, and misogynistic banter.”

“Public universities have no business firing professors for teaching actual science,” First Liberty wrote in a press release. 

“It’s harmful to academic freedom. It’s also harmful to religious liberty, as the college is sending a message that people of faith are not welcome and need not apply,” the organization continued.

Despite being an associate pastor at the International Bible Church in San Antonio, Varkey denies all allegations suggesting that he incorporates religious doctrine in the classroom setting.

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First Liberty expressed its intent to pursue legal recourse if Varkey’s reinstatement is not guaranteed by July 5. In the event that such action is required, First Liberty “will include seeking redress in federal court against St. Philip’s College, the Alamo Colleges District, and any other responsible parties.”

Dr. Varkey is not the first professor to be fired from St. Philip’s College for presenting material inconsistent with a progressive worldview.

Earlier this month, Campus Reform reported on a similar incident when the community college decided not to renew Will Moravits’ contract after he was accused of bigotry when he expressed conservative views in class. Moravits’ attorney believes his termination was also a First Amendment violation.

Campus Reform has contacted all relevant parties for comment and will update this article accordingly.