Student Told by Professor to Remove Bible Reference From Assignment Considers Legal Action

An empty classroom is seen in this undated file photo.
An empty classroom is seen in this undated file photo. | (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

An 18-year-old student from an academic institution in Wisconsin has accused a professor of forcing her to omit references to the Bible for a class assignment.

University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County Professor Annette Kuhlman is guilty of religious discrimination for not allowing biblical references in a sociology project, student Rachel Langeberg claims.

Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal firm with offices in Florida and Washington, D.C., is giving legal aid to Langeberg.

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

Richard Mast, litigation counsel with LC, told The Christian Post that his organization sent a letter of concern to the University last month and sent another Thursday afternoon.

"This is something that the University should not leave unaddressed. It's something that if this is a systemic issue, it needs to be addressed. Hopefully it's not," said Mast.

"Hopefully it's just one professor but, you know, we've seen this past year a number of instances with schools around the country where this sort of thing goes on."

During the Spring 2015 semester at the University of Wisconsin, Langeberg took a sociology class taught by Kuhlman that centered on the issue of criminal justice and crime.

As part of a group Powerpoint project, Langeberg included biblical references as one of the acceptable non-peer-reviewed sources for the assignment.

According to the letter the LC sent the University last month, in April, Kuhlman rejected the biblical references, telling Langeberg that use of the Bible was "inappropriate for this presentation."

"Religious contemplations and the Bible belong to a different realm and not academic sources," stated Kuhlman to Langeberg, according to the LC letter.

"I will not allow you to present unless you change this. You will also fail your presentation if your discuss religion in connection with it."

Mast of LC told CP that Langeberg contacted them about the situation, asking for advice on the matter. Mast explained that Langeberg first met with University officials regarding the matter before LC sent the first letter of complaint.

"We would prefer to resolve this situation without resorting to litigation but in the face of silence our options become significantly more limited," said Mast.

"We're hopeful that they will respond and commit to treat students fairly in the future. And then we'll go from there depending on their response or nonresponse."

Regarding the allegations, a spokesperson from University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County forwarded CP a statement from University Dean Dr. Tracy White.

"We have reviewed the matter, and we appreciate the dialogue that has involved the student, her family and the professor," stated Dr. White.

"Our campus and classrooms are and always have been inclusive places that respect diverse backgrounds, viewpoints and the need to maintain the highest academic standards."

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles