Ohio Philosophy Professor Accused of Misgendering a Student is Awarded $400,000 in Damages


But Shawnee State University Continues To Stand By Their Ideals

Tstrickland, CC BY-SA 4.0 Wiki Commons

"Tolerance is a two way street," said Nick Meriwether of Ohio who was accused of willfully misgendering a trans student in his class. The Shawnee State University professor found himself in hot water back in 2018 when a trans student reportedly asked him to use her preferred pronouns and he refused.

After multiple requests and instances of being publicly misgendered by Meriwether, the student brought her complaint to the administration, who pursued disciplinary action against the philosophy professor. Shawnee State University ultimately issued a formal warning against Meriwether, who stood his ground, citing personal, religious convictions and free speech.

Not only was Meriwether unmoved by the demand to obey the school's instructions, but he took issue with their request, declaring that the demand for him to use preferred pronouns was a violation of his first amendment rights. With representation from Alliance Depending Freedom, who are known for defending religious freedom and free speech, Meriwether decided to pursue this issue against the University.

Last week, nearly four years after his initial written warning back in June 2018, Professor Meriwether was awarded $400,000 in damages. His written warning will also be rescinded.

For Shawnee State University, the results of this settlement do not represent a change of heart, but rather a need to protect their finances. In a statement on the final decision, they denied all accusations that Meriwether's free speech was stifled in any way, and asserted that the case was "being used to advance divisive social and political agendas at a cost to the university and its students."

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