A lecturer of Bengaluru's St Joseph's College has reportedly been sacked, allegedly due to his sexual orientation. Ashley Tellis, a gay rights activist, who was a lecturer at the college said he was fired from the college because of his 'personal opinion'.
In a Facebook post, Tellis wrote that he was summoned to the principal's office, while he was conducting classes for second year BCom students. He was asked to leave as the students were reportedly 'disturbed by his personal opinion'.
Tellis wrote that this is what the principal told him as the reason for his firing. "Students are very much disturbed by your opinions (sic). You were hired to teach English Literature. Not to give your personal opinions. Please sign these letters. Leave the college with immediate effect. No need to take any more classes. We will manage," the principal reportedly told the professor.
This is what Tellis posted on Facebook:
However, the college denied the allegations.
The college said that the assistant professor of English was fired because he paid "no heed to the sensitivities of undergraduate students from heterogeneous backgrounds".
The college said that the professor's sexual orientation was known when he was appointed.
In a statement, the college said, "After receiving several complaints from students and their parents about Prof Ashley having crossed the line repeatedly in his interaction and comments, the management decided that it would be for the best to terminate his services."
Meanwhile, in several FB posts, the professor alleged that it was the administration's conservative views that cost him his job. "In the classroom, I used to discuss everything with students. Sometimes, it also included issues related to different sexual orientations," he said.
"This is the sort of rank homophobia and unbelievable violence that we have to face every day of our lives in institutions as LGBT people where we both do not make eye contact but are creepily sexual, where people make claims about our lives and pasts with absolutely no knowledge of anything about our lives having seen us for a couple of months," Tellis wrote on Facebook.
On a Reddit thread, a lot of former students of the professor has come out in support of him.
"He really did have very radical views about a lot of things, but that's the point of an educational institute. He really is a great professor, but faces a lot of troubles only because of the fact that he expects logic to prevail," a former student of the professor wrote.
"The guy should sue the college and the principal," another wrote.
Turns out, this is not the first time Tellis faced a situation like this. In 2010, Indian Institute of Technology (Hyderabad) sacked Tellis, apparently discomfited by his sexual orientation.
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