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Professor sacked over his sexual orientation

by Manish Sen
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Bengaluru: An Assistant Professor of a reputed college here has claimed that he has been sacked over his sexual orientation.

Ashley Tellis St Joseph's College of Arts and Sciences

Assistant Professor Ashley Tellis of St Joseph’s College of Arts and Sciences was sacked over his sexual orientation.

In a Facebook post, Ashley Tellis, who is also a gay rights activist, wrote that he was asked to leave St Joseph’s College of Arts and Sciences because “students are disturbed by my personal opinions.”

“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,” the English Assistant Professor said quoting the principal.

This is not the first instance wherein Tellis had been removed.

In 2010, he was removed by the management of the Indian Institute of Technology (Hyderabad) allegedly over his sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, the college management said in a statement that the decision was taken after many parents and students complained about Tellis’ “sexual orientation.”

They said the professor did not pay any heed to the “sensitivities” of undergraduate students from heterogeneous backgrounds.

Defending himself on the social media platform, Tellis said he talked about sexuality because it was a part of English textbooks.

“In the classroom, I used to discuss everything with students. Sometimes, it also included issues related to different sexual orientations.

“This is the sort of homophobia and unbelievable violence that we LGBT people have to face every day of our lives in institutions,” he said.

However, a few people have come out in support of the professor.

“I am extremely proud of you and I feel privileged that I have been taught by you. This is the story of most educational institutions in India and it is so unfortunate that academic liberty is juxtaposed with extremely problematic personal ideologies,” said one in reply to Tellis’ post.

PTI

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