A graduate student at the University of Missouri is suing the institution after he was suspended from the campus for four years for what the university considers sexual harassment.
Former University of Missouri graduate student Jeremy Rowles, an African American who was pursuing a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, was expelled from the school for a period of four years after the university’s Title IX board determined that he sexually harassed a woman when repeatedly asking her out on dates.
Rowles met the woman, Annalise Breux, an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri, in the university’s cafe, and eventually enrolled in a dancing class taught by Breux. Rowles asked Breux out, and misunderstood her reply to mean she may be interested in him at a later time. After receiving a Facebook message from Breux, explaining that she was not romantically interested in Rowles, he agreed to stop communicating with her outside of the dancing class and cafe, but continued to pursue Breux romantically.
The matter was eventually investigated by the university, which found that Rowles was guilty of sexually harassment and stalking Breux, and expelled Rowles from the university for four years. Rowles proceeded to appeal the decision, and while the university maintained that the original judgment was correct, Rowles’ expulsion was reduced from four years to two.
Rowles then proceeded to file a lawsuit to reverse the decision, leading to shocking claims from the university’s Title IX enforcement staff regarding the organization’s rules and their interpretation coming out in discovery, with the question of whether asking a fellow student on a date could be considered sexual harassment among the most disconcerting.
One university official was asked by Rowles’ attorney whether the university would consider “a date an unwanted sexual advance,” and the official replied that if they “keep turning him down and he keeps asking,” then they would consider it potential sexual harassment.
Most concerning, during the disposition it was revealed that the university’s own Title IX office would likely not have been able to help Rowles learn the definitions he might have needed to avoid this situation, with one Title IX official telling lawyers they “don’t know” what answer would have been provided, also do not know if another Title IX official might have provided another, contradictory answer.
Rowles’ lawyer maintains that the language used in Rowles’ communications were not harassment, and are protected under the First Amendment.
The University of Missouri has come under fire over free speech issues in recent years, as the university amassed national notoriety when a now-fired professor of Communication demanded “some muscle” to remove a journalist from a public protest on the campus.
Judge Dismisses Transgender Woman’s “Discrimination” Lawsuit Against Miss USA Pageant
Miss USA remains a pageant for biological females only.
Last Thursday a federal judge dismissed a transgender woman’s lawsuit that accused the Miss USA pageant of discrimination.
Anita Noelle Green is a biological male who claimed that “she” had a right to participate in the pageant’s competitions, but US District Judge Michael W. Mosman found that the law is not on “her” side.
Judge Mosman ruled that Miss United States of America LLC, a private corporation, cannot be forced to violate its mission of promoting “natural-born” females.
“I view it as an association that cannot under the Constitution be required to allow plaintiff to participate in what defendant says is a contradiction of that message,” he said.
Green competed in the 2018 Miss Montana pageant and won the 2019 Miss Earth Elite Oregon competition—but Miss USA denied “her” application. Green’s lawyer attempted to argue that the Miss USA corporation is predominately a commercial business that’s granted “minimal protection,” not a First Amendment-protected “expressive association.”
Judge Mosman, however, disagreed and found the pageant corporation to be a predominately expressive association, meaning that it is engaged in expressive activity and promotes a message.
In related news, Big League Politics recently covered Sen. Rand Paul’s confrontation with transgender HHS nominee Rachel Levine about “her” unwillingness to say that minors shouldn’t be bypassing their parents and making their own decisions about transitioning:
At Thursday’s Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Rand Paul confronted Rachel Levine, a transgender doctor and Biden’s Assistant HHS Secretary nominee, asking if “she” supports minors overriding their parents on transitioning to the opposite sex.
Levine’s response was as follows: “Senator, transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field, and if confirmed to the position of Assistant Secretary of Health, I would certainly be pleased to come to your office and talk with you and your staff about the standards of care…”
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