Professor Disciplined for Refusal to Use Preferred Pronouns Receives $400k Settlement

Image copyright: Alliance Defending Freedom [via NBC News]

The Facts

  • A $400k settlement has been reached with a philosophy professor from Shawnee State University who was disciplined in 2018 for refusing to use a student's preferred pronouns.

  • Nick Meriwether declined to address a transgender woman as she/her, instead offering to use the student's name and avoid pronouns or titles. The university placed a written warning in his personnel file following his refusal, and he filed a lawsuit against them.

The Spin

Left narrative

The university followed its policy, and federal law, when it acted to protect a student from bigotry and discrimination. The court's verdict rerflects the legal system's failure to protect the LGBTQ+ community. Efforts to change society's use of gender pronouns may not always be easy, but they are an important and exhilarating step forward in the evolution of language and social and gender constructs.

Right narrative

Meriwether attempted to compromise with the student, but was met with belligerence and aggression. As a Christian, referring to a biological male as 'she' would've gone against his constitutionally protected beliefs. Just as the student has every right to change their gender identity and pronouns, Meriwether has the right to express his religion. Centering focus on people publicly stating their pronouns is a strategy that, far from signaling inclusion, is an implicit endorsement of a controversial ideology.

Political split



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