IUP allows local man to return to class

Ingle had been barred after a disagreement with professor

A local man who was removed from an Indiana University of Pennsylvania class after a disagreement with a professor can return, the college’s president has confirmed.

“Based on a review of governing policies, last week the student was informed that he is allowed to attend class,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said Monday. “I hope he will be in attendance this week and beyond.”

However, Lake Ingle, a senior at the college, cannot attribute his return to a ruling from IUP’s Academic Integrity Board, which conducted a hearing on the incident earlier this month.

And Driscoll spoke about the disruption of the hearing process at a press conference. His comments were later sent to the Mirror via an email from an IUP spokeswoman.

As his case was being reviewed “by established university process,” Ingle, a Tyrone Area High School graduate, chose to speak with reporters from both local and national news outlets.

Driscoll said rules prohibited school officials from doing the same, and Ingle’s choice to speak with reporters impeded the review process.

“As I see it, a more thoughtful application of the IUP way would have resulted in a reasonable resolution of the matter with significantly less anger and anxiety,” Driscoll said. “As a result of how things have played, I am afraid that the thoughtful, dispassionate review of the matter is impossible.”

On Feb. 28, Ingle attended a special topics in Christianity class, where his instructor, Alison Downie, showed a video of a transgender woman speaking about topics like sexism and white-male privilege.

Following the video, the instructor invited only female students in the room to comment with stories about when they have been marginalized by men, Ingle said last week.

According to Ingle, he waited for 30 seconds to a minute with no woman in the room speaking out, so he decided to offer his opinions, disputing information presented in the class.

Ingle said he denied things like the gender-wage gap, white-male privilege and the idea that there are more than two genders.

“She wasn’t too happy with me, though I had given sufficient time for the females in class to speak,” he said last week, referring to Downie.

The following day, Ingle was handed a set of documents explaining he had acted disrespectfully in objection to class discussion by refusing to stop talking out of turn and speaking in angry outbursts.

The professor also demanded that Ingle make apologies to both her and others in the class. When he did not immediately agree, the Academic Integrity Board process was initiated, and Ingle was barred from attending class.

Ingle, a religious studies major, must complete the class to graduate.

Last week, Ingle said he was waiting on a ruling from the Academic Integrity Board. In the meantime, his case attracted widespread interest, as his story was broadcast by news organizations.

Driscoll said the attention resulted in a “spate” of obscene language, threats and misinformation toward the school.

The Academic Integrity Board process was interrupted, and Ingle is allowed to return to class but not without oversight.

“To help ensure that a positive learning environment is maintained,” Driscoll has asked a senior faculty member, who is an expert in speech rights, to “join the class as a monitor and a mentor for all.”

Driscoll also noted that the Academic Integrity Board process could be revisited if Monday’s decision does not “yield positive results.”

Downie did not respond to questions about the incident. And Ingle did not return a Monday message seeking a comment about his return to class.

According to Pittsburgh’s Post-Gazette, Ingle gave a brief statement after Driscoll’s announcement, saying: “I am thankful the president made the correct decision.”

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.


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