SUNY Suspends Student For Posting Views On Biological Gender

There could be a significant First Amendment case brewing in New York after the School of Education at the State University of New York-Geneseo suspended student Owen Stevens for posting his view that gender is limited to biologically males and females.  As a state institution, SUNY is subject to the limitations of the First Amendment and Stevens could challenge the action based on his statements on Instagram.

I have not been able to find the letter sent to Stevens by the school but it is quoted on a conservative website, The Daily Wire. According to that report, Owen posted on Instagram that there are only two genders. This may be that posting:


The school reportedly maintains that such statements made on social media are grounds for suspension and other disciplinary action.  While she did not refer to him by name, SUNY-Geneseo President Denise Battles sent out a message stating that “[y]esterday, I was made aware of a current student’s Instagram posts pertaining to transgender people.” Battles acknowledges that “There are clear legal limitations to what a public university can do in response to objectionable speech. As a result, there are few tools at our disposal to reduce the pain that such speech may cause.” However, the school then suspended Stevens.

A spokesperson is quoted by the Daily Wire declaring students must follow the “professional standards” of their chosen field by acting and behaving in ways that “may differ from their personal predilections.”

That does not sound like an accommodation of the First Amendment, which protects your right to express your “personal predilections.” Many object to his view of transgender persons, but it is a view that often expresses a myriad of religious, political, social, and biological beliefs.

The suspension letter reportedly states:

You continue to maintain, “I do not recognize the gender that they claim to be if they are not biologically that gender.” This public position is in conflict with the Dignity for All Students Act requiring teachers to maintain a classroom environment protecting the mental and emotional well-being of all students.

The question is whether holding such beliefs means that Smith is incapable of maintaining a classroom that is respectful and protective of all students, including transgender students. We have previously discussed professors who express animosity toward white students, males, or conservatives but few have been subject to suspension or termination unless they manifest such bias or prejudice in classrooms or on campus. (See stories here, here, here, here, and here) I have long opposed discipline for teachers for their expression of political or social views outside of schools. Indeed, as we have previously discussed, one professor called for more Trump supporters to be killed. Another called for strangling police. Rhode Island Professor Erik Loomis, who writes for the site Lawyers, Guns, and Money, said he saw “nothing wrong” with the killing of a conservative protester — a view defended by other academics.  Yet, recently a professor was suspended for writing against reparations.  The result seems like a sharp divergent treatment based on the content of views on the left or the right of the political spectrum in the treatment of faculty members.

The spokesperson told the site that “SUNY Geneseo respects every student’s right to freedom of speech and expression,” but “[b]y choosing to enter into certain professional fields, students agree to abide by the professional standards of their chosen field. At times, these professional standards dictate that students act and behave in certain ways that may differ from their personal predilections.”

Yet, Smith is not saying that he would apply his views in classrooms or refuse to comply with “professional standards.” Instead, the school seems to be saying that one of those professional standards is conforming your views (or at least your public statements) to the accepted views of a “chosen field.” That would seem like the abridgment of free speech.

Again, we do not have to agree with Smith to support his right to speak freely. We often support the free speech rights of individuals who espouse views that we find offensive or even grotesque. You cannot say that you are in favor of free speech so long as you do not use it in a way that we do not like. It is hard to see any limiting principle in the position of SUNY-Geneseo. It would mean that the “chosen field” of any student could limit their ability to speak out on issues in their private lives. The alternative is to enforce “professional standards” by requiring adherence to those standards in the professional setting.

The school may be looking at a substantial free speech challenge in this case and we will continue to follow it. In the meantime, it would be useful to see the letter of suspension and any references to any other postings by the school to judge the strength of a possible case.


241 thoughts on “SUNY Suspends Student For Posting Views On Biological Gender”

  1. @walworths

    “No difference then if they deny bi-polar disorder or Autism. No Molly. There is a huge difference.”

    The difference is there are no large, politically connected groups that lobby on behalf of those who suffer from bi-polar disorder or autism and act as hall monitors looking to doxx and destroy those who dissent from leftist orthodoxy.


  2. Sweet, tolerant lefties, do you realize that single individual who lived before the “great awokening” circa 2014 thought there was only 2 genders? Left, right or center makes no difference. That means all the icons and notables of history were hopeless bigots. All of the great religions of history got it wrong too, not to mention your parents were (or are) bigots. Let’s cancel all of them while we are at it.

    This guy won’t just be cancelled in 10 years, he will be prosecuted for “hate speech”.

    I will take leftists more seriously when the criticize Islam for how they treat the LGBTQxyz community.

    But if merely saying, “I’m a girl” would put me in the shower with Jennifer Lawrence, where do I sign up? Maybe one of my leftist moral bettors could advise me regarding this.


  3. Gender dysphoria is real and recognized by the DSM-5. It causes depression and suicidal thoughts and behavior. Transitioning is an effective treatment. If a student educator does not understand this, and does not want to be educated on this, then they have no business being an educator. No difference then if they deny bi-polar disorder or Autism.

    1. Molly , You need a shrink. Educators should not spend their time bowing to the woke fountain of full silliness to appease the woke monks that walk amongst us expecting to pay homage to their mental dysphorias. You have no business assuming educators need to be woke counselors and bow to dysphoria of any kind. That is what mental health services are for ….. not chop shop doctors to modify the patients bodies horrifically no educators to mollycoddle their mental issues.

    2. Transitioning is an effective treatment. I

      An effective treatment for the money shortage which may be suffered by surgeons and psychiatrists. When he was chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, Paul McHugh persuaded the Medical Institute to shut down John Money’s clinic because before-after studies showed no improvement on a raft of measures of well-being.

      1. Young, are you saying Molly G. thinks homosexuality is a mental illness? In some countries homosexuality can end up being such a crime that homosexuals are thrown off of roofs and killed. I think that group today is linked for political purposes with the left.

        1. Molly G thought homosexuality was an illness when DSM said it was and thought it wasn’t when it bowed to political pressure and said it wasn’t.

          Interesting point about some places and religions. I want to see Molly G condemn Islam for killing homosexuals and enslaving blacks, both of which they still do today.

            1. Molly G has a leftist mindset so she is under no obligation to be consistent
              She is under no obligation to have a mind. Look at Biden and AOC.

    3. “No difference then if they deny bi-polar disorder or Autism.”

      No Molly. There is a huge difference.

      But this describes you perfectly:

      “Confirmation bias is the tendency for a person to interpret or remember information in a manner that simply confirms their existing beliefs. It is one of the strongest and most insidious human biases in psychology, because most people are unaware they are doing it. It is the invisible voice inside our heads that always agrees with what we say, no matter the facts.”

          1. I think Walworths intended his to be an insult. I’m just pointing out that it applies to just about everyone, including him.

    4. Likewise Body Transmorphic Disorder. Guess Medicare For All, whenever it’s passed & launched, should include amputations for people like Canada’s One Arm Jason who did his own (via crush from garage car lift) and retinal detachments for people like the young student a few years back who had practiced blindness since a young age before finding a sympathetic psychology grad student counselor to pour cleaning fluid in her eyes and make a wish come true. Toss in some liposuction for anorexics. They’re all under the DSMs, and feel depressed also.

    5. The student teacher did not say he would unfairly treat gender dysphoric students badly in the classroom. He has a perfect right (outside of his classroom) to say what 90 percent of the people in this country believe: two genders. * Others have extra needs and deserve respect and care. Gender dysphoria has now become a huge fad with middle schoolers seeking attention, and this insane push to punish good, common sense teachers is crippling them. Pre-teens should NOT be transitioning physically, and all students, regardless of their differences, should be treated kindly and fairly. *Please note that sexual preferences are actually a separate matter, since I’d bet there’s a whole sliding scale on that. Bi-polar disorder and autism are not the subjects of emotional, religious, and sexual rampages supported by huge advocacy groups pushing their agendas on parents and children to achieve power. It’s about power and control for them, not kids.

    6. Being an educator does not mean going along with a child’s limited world view just to be nice (it actually really isn’t}. It means challenging and expanding upon it. This student will make a great teacher and I wish him lots of success. We need more like him in education.

  4. Recently the School of Education at the State University of New York-Geneseo suspended student Owen Stevens for posting his view that gender is limited to biologically males and females. Although his ‘suspension’ was due to ‘unwoke’ thought on gender, it’s all wrapped up in the recent leftist rantings about racism. To further that increasing myth about systemic racism, the insanity about an armed insurrection on Jan 6 in Washington DC is central.

    Simply put, there was no ‘armed insurrection’ or ‘insurrection’ of any kind in the capitol. There was a riot and it’s been roundly condemned by all trump supporters. There were about 200 people arrested. 14 for weapons charges. Two had guns – but NONE of the guns was ‘in’ the capital, just low hanging fruit for the extreme DC gun control laws (Heller anyone). The other ‘weapons’ were objects like helmets. This is from an analysis of every arrest. If this was an insurrection it was the lamest in the history of such efforts. It was an armed insurrection without arms. The only person shot and killed was an unarmed female protestor. News reports spewed fake news about a capital policeman being attacked and killed by being beaten with a fire extinguisher. The only thing we know for sure about his death is that that did not happen. Why is it over 6 weeks later that they have not released his autopsy? At the same time, ANTIFA is conducting an actual insurrection from coast to coast for months resulting in billions of dollars in destruction and dozens of deaths including the proven murder of numerous police and trump supporters in cold blood. Our vice president contributed to bail funds to release such rioters. But, of course, the media faithfully reported that it was ‘mostly peaceful’ as fires raged behind them.

    If there is such systemic racism in the country how is it that most major cities are run by black folks? I won’t use the term African American as I’m not sure if it is true. They could be like our VP with family roots in the Caribbean/Jamaica or somewhere else. And i’m not just talking about the mayor. Most council members and police chiefs also. Be sure not to include the election of President Obama. He had the greatest opportunity in decades to complete the healing of a nation but squandered it on demonizing the police. There was not a major police incident that he did not pass judgement on right away, only to be proven wrong after the investigation. From the first of the black college professor who would not id himself to police (arrested by a policeman who was so racist that he was chosen by a black police commissioner to serve as an instructor for a Lowell Police Academy course entitled “Racial Profiling”, which Crowley has taught since 2004 (Officer Crowley received public support from many police officers, including African Americans, who portrayed him as a good and fair officer). Obama later apologized for his comments, but he went on to repeat this pattern over and over. Worst case was Michael Brown in Missouri in 2014. On March 4, 2015, the federal investigation (Obama’s justice department) cleared Officer Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting. The investigation concluded there was no evidence upon which prosecutors could rely to disprove Wilson’s asserted belief that he feared for his safety, that witnesses who contradicted Wilson were not credible, that forensic evidence and credible witnesses corroborated Wilson’s account, and that the facts did not support the filing of criminal charges against Wilson. Credible witnesses did not support accounts that Brown had his hands up in surrender. He was not shot in the back. Forensic evidence showed he was moving toward Wilson. Numerous witnesses were found to have given accounts of actions they were unable to see from their vantage points, or to be recounting others’ accounts. See

    How can you have economic ‘equity’ when over 70% of black households are headed by single parent (mostly moms). Marriage, 2 parent households and a high school degree insulate EVERYONE from the likelihood of going to prison and adding a criminal conviction to the obstacles of achieving a happy life. Yet the teacher’s unions keep schools closed in ‘blue’ cities and oppose school choice everywhere. Abortion clinics are located close to urban centers and the black population has aborted itself into a permanent third place at 13 pct of the population while the Hispanic population soars past them. This is a Facebook page for an educational institution, so you must know that one of the founders of planned parenthood did so to help control undesirable elements of the population.

    In these major cities, at least half the black students drop out before graduation, many more than white or even Hispanic. Somewhere between half million to a million kids are added to the streets each year without an education to compete in a world where the wage gap is drawn between the type of workers who can stay at home and work using technology vs those who have to be there in person to stock shelves or hand a burger to someone out a window at a drive thru. To make matters worse, after finally getting the southern border under control so that the most significant wage increases were for wages of youth, ex-cons, high school dropouts and those without a college education (less supply of cheap labor means more money for the others, basic supply and demand, like gravity that you cannot repeal), the Biden administration is rushing to reverse the forces that created those gains.

    It does not take a research study funded by millions of dollars to know that a single parent (75% moms), will have a harder time being able to spend time helping their child or children with homework (especially since so many of them did not graduate), involving them in childhood sports or scouting or any outside activity. How will they get them to practice or games or afford the sports equipment or musical instruments? If they are working, how do they not have latch key kids getting involved with other kids in the same difficulties many times in gangs. Without a partner to help with the work of parenthood, their children are destined to be much more likely to drop out of school and have a criminal record. With that record, how will they work? How will they parent? How they overcome the income discrepancy caused not by race, but class – the haves, the have mores vs the have nots. So, remind me again, why is the left against school choice?

    If you had to boil down what helps any child have a better chance at life it must be FAMILY, something in general that the left wants you to think is an antiquated idea. One of the principles of the BLM’s Marxist ideology was to work against the nuclear family. They want the ‘commune’, the government and those who know better to be responsible if not for raising your kids, then at least deciding what thoughts and ideologies you will be allowed to teach and pass on to them.

    What could go wrong? It already has.

    1. “There was a riot and it’s been roundly condemned by all trump supporters.”

      Many of the insurrectionists ARE Trump supporters.

      1. Nice try anon…. seems you have missed the truth about how many BLM and antifa were there that day and are now posting freely congratulating themselves on Jan6th. And oddly how was this in any way an “insurrection”. Your media hyperbole definition does not fit…. again you are a lemming for the media whores and social fascist propaganda party. You brown nose and or brown shirt much ?.

        1. Nice try phergus, but AFAIK, of all the people who were arrested,, the only one who is known NOT to be a Trump supporter is John Earl Sullivan. Many are very open about their support for Trump. Jacob Angeli, Derrick Evans, and Jenna Ryan are just a few examples.

          Go ahead, now you name 3 people who were arrested for the actions at the Capitol and who were “BLM and antifa.”

          Your insults apply to you, not me.

            1. Yes, when someone claims “you have missed the truth about how many BLM and antifa were there that day,” I ask for evidence.

              I didn’t even ask for much evidence, just the names of 3 people who were arrested for actions they took at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and who are “BLM and antifa.” Notice how your attempted ridicule provides zero evidence.

              “99.9% of the people who were welcomed into the capitol building that day were never arrested.”

              A claim for which you provide no evidence. Given that over 200 people have already been arrested (see the link above, naming them), it implies that you think 200,000 people entered the Capitol. Good luck with that delusion.

              “What a “siege”!”

              Only someone who is trying to be ignorant thinks they all entered peacefully.

      2. @anonymous

        I will refer to the events of January 6, 2021 as an “insurrection”, if you refer to the events of the summer 2020 as the same. The “mostly peaceful protests” resulting from the death of St. George Floyd (“peace be unto him”) resulted in $2 billion dollars in insurance payouts.

        Of course, I won’t hold my breath.

        Leftist such as yourself love to characterize those who disagree as evil, ignorant bigots but what should really make you worry is that most people who read this are educated, professional people. We are far from the characachure you have assigned us. WE ARE EVERYWHERE! We are in your offices, stores, clubs, etc. And you aren’t going to get rid of the 75 million who voted for Trump. You can’t persecute, doxx or fire all of us.


        1. No, Antonio, I won’t call the violence during the Floyd protests an insurrection. The Jan. 6 riot was attempting to prevent a peaceful transfer of power from one presidency to the next, and the Floyd protests were not.

          I have no problem condemning the violence of some who participated in the Floyd protests, it’s inexcusable; but they’re absolutely not analogous.

          “Leftist such as yourself love to characterize those who disagree as evil, ignorant bigots ”

          No, I don’t call the vast majority of people who disagree with me “evil, ignorant bigots.” I do call some people ignorant or bigoted, when I have evidence for it. I only rarely call someone “evil.” But it’s too hard for you to admit this. You’d rather caricature me and others you disagree with.

          1. @anonymous

            First of all, I can’t be a bigot, I’m Hispanic, a member of a recognized victim group. And if I were a leftist one, you’d be ki@@ing my a@@ by now in an attempt to suck up. Don’t worry, I don’t need leftists to save me but glad you didn’t mistakenly call me one. Of course, as a non victim type, non-leftist Hispanic, I’ve discovered I have less intersectionality points than others who embrace their victimhood.

            The St. George of Floyd (“peace be unto him”) protests were based on a lie. Amazing how leftist heroes tend to be thugs, isn’t it? As a former criminal defense lawyer, I can tell you it usually doesn’t pay to resist the police but follow their instructions.

            Yes, I know last summer’s “mostly peaceful protests” were for social justice, so that makes the collateral damage ok. What amazed me is how the coronavirus was able to distinguish between those protesting injustice (and thus encouraged) vs. those protesting the lockdowns or wanting to go to church. Those people were ignorant yayoos deserving condemnation. Didn’t know viruses were a form of intelligent life.

            The last election just shows how American democracy is a sham. Americans love to tell others how to live but not sure we have the right to do so. The communists had a point about American imperialism (of course, they had their own, worse actually) but they had a point.

            Bet despite all of your leftist virtue signaling, you live nowhere near lots of minorities of any kind. Don’t worry, being a good leftist doesn’t required getting one’s hands dirty.


            1. “I can’t be a bigot, I’m Hispanic”

              It’s possible for someone to be a bigot regardless of their ethnicity, just like it’s possible to be a bigot regardless of sex, regardless of race, regardless of religious affiliation, … But I don’t have evidence that you’re a bigot, so I won’t assume you are one.

              “you live nowhere near lots of minorities of any kind”

              … he says, pulling it out of his ***. My county and neighboring counties are over 50% minority, and several people in my household are Black.

              I see that you can’t bring yourself to deal with the fact that the Capitol insurrection was attempting to prevent a peaceful transfer of power from one presidency to the next, and the Floyd protests were not.

              1. It’s possible for someone to be a bigot regardless of their ethnicity,

                This particular ‘anonymous’ is dead to irony.

              2. @anonymous

                Trump was only the beginning. I am looking for the next nationalist, populist figure with real political skills, not some bombastic New Yorker. And that figure will come, sooner rather than later. And he or she will represent a state actor with real power. BTW – I never saw Trump like you probably viewed Obama in 2008. Nor am I looking for a return to the days of useless mainstream conservatism which conserves nothing (i.e. National Review and Heritage Foundation). The January 6th event was a silly amateurish event which accomplished nothing but gave government an excuse to further suppress anyone who disagrees with the leftist narrative.

                On another note, let me give it to you straight, George Floyd was a thug who just his just desserts. Go ahead defend a multiple felon who put a gun to a pregnant lady’s stomach. Amazing, this is the only fentanyl positive, covid sufferer who died from something else besides covid.

                And I don’t care about your COUNTY or CITY. I mean neighborhood or block. And I guarantee it isn’t isn’t 50% black. If so, you are either a fool or are living in an armed fortress. Armed? You are unlikely so since lefties usually want to disarm everyone else unless they are members of the John Brown Gun Club (JBGC) or Redneck Revolt.


              3. “My county and neighboring counties are over 50% minority,”

                In one home where I am not a resident 29% are hispanic, 29% white, 24% black and 14.1% Asian.You wear your demographics like a medal. I didn’t know mine and just looked it up to find out. That is NYC. Then I looked at my more specific location and it was only 47% white in Manhattan

                Do you know, anonymous? I don’t care.

      3. “Many of the insurrectionists ARE Trump supporters.”

        Once again your argument hides behind inadequate information and word play. Many can be a relatively large number so one could say many of those at the capital were Trump supporters but most of the people there were Antifa and BLM.

        Then we get to how we characterize the people at the capitol. Were they all insurrectionists? Were any insurrectionists? There may have been only one insurrectionist. We don’t know and that insurrectionist might have been the guy who can be linked to Antifa, Sullivan.

        In other words what was said in the prior response is absolutely meaningless and without content.

        1. Again: AFAIK, of all the people who were arrested,, the only one who is known NOT to be a Trump supporter is John Earl Sullivan. Many are very open about their support for Trump. Jacob Angeli, Derrick Evans, and Jenna Ryan are just a few examples.

          “most of the people there were Antifa and BLM.”

          Prove it.

          1. ““most of the people there were Antifa and BLM. Prove it.”

            Once again you omit the rest of the statement and the context. Under your criteria that would make you a liar. Under my criteria that would indicate too much concrete above the shoulders or a liar. What you fail to to copy is that I am trying to show where your logic fails. That is why the sentence included “so one could say”.

            “Many can be a relatively large number *****so one could say ***** many of those at the capital were Trump supporters but most of the people there were Antifa and BLM.”

            I don’t have the slightest idea of what most of the people were.

            Which is it that tells us how you think? Concrete or lies?

    2. Unfortunately, all true. Can be traced back to fully flowering during the “war on poverty” and its unintended, perverse outcome of diminishing Black family structure.

  5. “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” – George Orwell

    1. They lie and nullify and disparage the Constitution every time they open their mouths.

      Their only goal is the complete subjugation of America under communism and the hegemon, communist China.


      Stop wasting your time.

      Wake up and smell the coffee.

      “It’s time to stop talkin’ and start chalkin’!”

      – Chick Hearn, L.A. Lakers

      “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute
      Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

      – Declaration of Independence, 1776

  6. SUNY’s action is outrageous and I hope they pay dearly for suspending this student.

    But I am conflicted, and a bit pleased over this: A professor who called for the firing of others over their remarks has been fired herself because of her remarks. Like Savaronola, when you call for a bonfire of the vanities you may learn that you, too, are a vanity to be dragged to the pyre.

    1. Conceivably. If I’m reading the summary statement correctly, she may have had troublesome disputes with other faculty, with students, &c.

    2. FIRE is interceding for her, so she may have a case. Scanning her blog, she herself appears to be a most unappealing creature. Some of their clients are.

      1. True that some of FIRE’s clients are unappealing. That’s why FIRE is appealing to me. They fight for appealing principles without much regard to the individual’s flaws.

      2. She’s quite verbose. Reams of text on her blog. Little of it has to do with topical political questions. She’s evidently a local resident (married) who enrolled in the history program at the local research university (a UT school) and was awarded a PhD in 2015, at the age of 46. She professes to have had one object – a position at the local community college. She received a renewable contract in 2019.

  7. If no person identifies as ‘Male’ then which gender is required to sign up for Selective Service upon turning 18?

        1. “it should be eliminated”

          Your beloved Democratic icon, LBJ, is rolling in his grave at the thought of eliminating selective service.

          And thanks to him, there are 60,000 Americans in their graves.

          Why do Democratic Presidents always start wars, Molly?

      1. Do we place your daughter in the same shower and sleeping accommodations with a man that on the day asked, says he is a woman?

          1. I jumped, because I want to get to the end product that has been discussed so much in recent months. Men and women are different. Their genetic makeup tells more about them than some political pseudo scientific research. It prevents all the evasive and obstructionist behavior seen on the blog.

      2. @anonymous

        Our enemies are trembling at the thought of facing America’s new “transgender” and female infantry soldiers. Of course, the well to do and connected will figure out a way for their daughters to avoid infantry combat. They always figure out a way to avoid what the working class and poor cannot. All while preaching at us for bigotry and unwokeness.


  8. If he is going to medical school and doesn’t recognize the XY and XX chromosomes that determine whether one is biologically male or female he should go into politics.

    1. Meyer , I could not agree more !. The silliness demanded by the left fascista types here like anon fly in the face of common sense and decency…but then again that is exactly what ANON’s can’t stand..common sense and decency.

      1. Thanks Phergus. Some people rely on the obscure or on being vague when they have little information to prove what they wish to believe. That seems to be mandatory for leftists.

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