Fired professor reinstated to TX college after EEOC complaint

Fired professor reinstated to TX college after EEOC complaint

Fired professor reinstated to TX college after EEOC complaint

A biology professor who says he was fired for teaching basic facts about human biology, which upset students, is headed back to a Texas classroom after a legal settlement.

Dr. Johnson Varkey, who is represented by First Liberty Institute, learned this week St. Philip's College is reinstating him approximately a year after he was terminated by the San Antonio-based school.

St. Philip's College, which is home to approximately 11,500 students, is a historically black school that dates back to the 1890s. Dr. Varkey is also black.

Varkey, Dr. Johnson Varkey

AFN reported last year how Dr. Varkey, a 20-year biology professor, upset students during a classroom lecture about biological sex and human chromosomes. Four students walked out of his class in protest and someone filed a formal complaint against him.

In a termination letter, St. Philip's claimed it has received “numerous complaints” about his actions in class which allegedly included “religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric, and misogynistic banter.”

Even though it is likely Varkey’s students have heard him share religious views in class, First Liberty attorneys pushed back on St. Philip's for making the professor’s First Amendment-protected speech an issue. When the school refused to reverse course, the religious liberty law firm filed a complaint on behalf of Varkey with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC.

First Liberty attorney Kayla Toney tells AFN the professor and Alamo Community College District reached a settlement that allows Dr. Varkey to return to a classroom by the fall of 2024.

“He is excited by this outcome, and we are glad that ACCD did the right thing,” Toney says.