'I will not be silenced': NY student declares victory after university reportedly suspends him for espousing conservative views
A New York student was reportedly suspended and later reinstated after he stated on his personal social media that "a man is a man and a woman is a woman."
The school claimed that it did not infringe upon the student's free speech rights.
Owen Stevens, a conservative Christian student at the State University of New York-Geneseo, was reportedly suspended but then reinstated after posting his views about transgender ideology on his personal Instagram account. In the video, Stevens argues his personal belief is that “a man is a man, a woman is a woman.”
“A man is a man; a woman is a woman. A man is not a woman, and a woman is not a man. A man cannot become a woman, and a woman cannot become a man. If I’m a man and think I'm a woman, I'm still a man. If I'm a woman who thinks I'm a man, I'm still a woman,” says Stevens in the post. “Regardless of what you feel on the inside, it's irrelevant to your biological status. It doesn't change biology. The biology is very clear, and it’s very easy.”
[RELATED: Prof refused to call transgender student by preferred pronoun, citing religious beliefs. Now, he's vindicated.]
The university reportedly suspended Stevens from all in-person field experiences and courses that include field experiences until he completes a remediation plan. This plan consists of removing questionable Instagram posts, toning down Stevens’s social media presence, and attending school-sanctioned training.
Stevens told news sources that he has no intentions of compromising his morals by taking part in the “re-education” training.
The Daily Wire obtained a copy of the email chain between the university and Stevens regarding the suspension. The Dean of the School of Education wrote “after review of all available materials, I find that, based on your continued public stance and social media presence, you do not consistently demonstrate behaviors required by the Conceptual Framework of the School of Education.”
The dean also implied that future students will be required to support all aspects of homosexuality and gender identity. This requirement goes directly against Stevens’s Christian and conservative values.
On Nov 23, Stevens posted a screenshot of the alleged email sent out by the university that publicly condemns Stevens’s posts and values. The email, from the office of the president, read “I imagine that reading these sentiments from a member of the Geneseo community raises apprehension for trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming students and their allies.”
[RELATED: Federal judge: Always using biological pronouns 'not protected under the First Amendment']
Stevens captioned the post “I will not be silenced by an ideologically driven anti-truth administration. They are trying to discredit basic dissent from conservatives. Absolutely unreal.”
Stevens also posted an alleged copy of the email dismissing him from the education program on Jan 21. The email claims that Stevens’s “Instagram posts do not show respect for the inherent dignity and worth of individuals whose identity or culture falls outside of his own narrow view of acceptable norms.”
“This is only the beginning. Leftism destroys,” Stevens commented on the post. “This is proof. Absolutely crazy.”
In a statement to The Daily Wire, a SUNY Geneseo spokeswoman said that the school is not infringing on any student’s right to free speech, and that students should expect to be required to conform to standards that “differ from their personal predilections” if they expect to enter certain fields.
“Although we cannot comment on any particular student, SUNY Geneseo respects every student’s right to freedom of speech and expression,” the spokeswoman said. “By choosing to enter into certain professional fields, students agree to abide by the professional standards of their chosen field. At times, these professional standards dictate that students act and behave in certain ways that may differ from their personal predilections.”
Stevens runs a podcast, called Just Owen, that “covers culture, politics, and life through the lens of a conservative and Christian man.”
When contacted for a comment, Stevens’s legal counsel explained that there is currently an appeal pending at the university, so Stevens is refraining from discussing the situation with the media until that is resolved.
Follow the author of this article: Addison Pummill