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Did a college professor punish a girl with zero grades because of her Christian beliefs?

Image Mindgutter/Foter/CC BY-NC-ND

Image Mindgutter/Foter/CC BY-NC-ND

Liberty Counsel has taken on the case of a 16 year-old girl, referred to only as G.L. who as a high school student under a special program was also attending classes at Florida’s Polk State College. According to Liberty, G.L. had a grade point average of 3.9 in high school, but while attending a class taught by college humanities professor Lance Russum had received “0” marks on four assignments.

Liberty alleges this happened because the young student would not allow herself to be influenced by the teacher’s strong anti-Christian, pro-marxist, pro-homosexual and pro-feminist beliefs.

In its letter to the school, Liberty is demanding the teacher’s behavior be fully reviewed, G.L.’s marks adjusted, a written apology issued and assurances the teacher will not “unlawfully” discriminate against Christians in future classes. Liberty also suggests the college fire Russum.

If the school refuses to deal with the situation, Liberty Counsel said it is prepared to take the case to court.

In its 10-page letter, Liberty said:

“Professor Russum expressed blatant and pervasive anti-Christian bias throughout the class, such as the following essay question: ‘Why did Christianity, and its male gods, seek to silence these women [the nuns]?’ In other essays where G.L. refused to concede that Christianity was false, violent, or oppressive to women; that Martin Luther’s motivations for the Reformation were wholly secular; and that Michelangelo’s sculptures and paintings communicated that ‘same-sex relationship is NOT A SIN,’ Mr. Russum gave her a total of four straight zeros.”

Liberty added:

“Since G.L. refuses to be ‘converted’ by Mr. Russum’s ‘Militant Atheist’ proselytizing into a ‘Woman Without Religion,’ he has instead decided to ‘ruthlessly annihilate’ her [grade], under his email signature line’s ‘true ethical test’ from Slavoj Zizek, a modern-day Marxist who justifies the mass-murders of Lenin, Mao, Stalin, the Khmer Rouge (‘not radical enough’), and Adolf Hitler (‘not violent enough’).”

Liberty alleges because Russum gave a “0” marks for four assignments–  where the girl answered the teacher’s questions while maintaining her Christian faith — suggests the grading was not academic based but rather “retaliatory.”

Liberty stated, “being a professor is not open season to belittle and punish students merely because they do not subscribe to the professor’s radical opinions.”

According to its letter, Liberty College took on G.L.’s case when Polk College refused to review the incident after being contacted by the girl’s parents.

Liberty Counsel is a not-for-profit legal and advocacy organization started in 1989 to defend religious freedom and the family. It has offices in Washington, D.C., California, Virginia and Florida.

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