TCF previously covered the case of Karen Royce, a 60-year-old student who is suing Western Nevada College because of alleged harassment she endured in a human sexuality class taught by Tom Kubistant. Now, Inside Higher Ed has uncovered additional details:
According to the complaint, Kubistant assigned a project called “A Sexual Case Study … You!” which required the students to divulge personal information including past sexual abuse, homosexual behavior and sexual preferences.
Royce, who was abused as a child and terrified of having to discuss this in the final assignment, asked Kubistant for a modified case study assignment. But, according to the complaint, he dismissed her request, saying that because she didn’t feel comfortable with the assignment, she had “sexual issues,” and the project would be cathartic.
[Royce's lawyer Ken McKenna] said Kubistant is violating professional psychological and psychiatric standards by asking students for personal sexual examples, which is considered counseling, not teaching. “You can’t just demand somebody reveal their sexual abuse when it could be psychologically harming, and it needs to be dealt with in a clinical setting instead of a classroom setting,” he said. “Just because you’re a teacher and you think you can order that is dangerous.”
Royce also felt that some of the course handouts were inappropriate. One that was provided to Inside Higher Ed, called “Prayers from the Sexes,” describes a woman’s prayer as for “a man who is not a creep, one who is handsome, smart and strong” and “one who loves to listen all night long,” while the man’s prayer is for “a deaf-mute nymphomaniac with huge boobs.”
A statement from the college said Kubistant provides a variety of handouts as teaching tools to offer context to the class, including information about communication, types and levels of sexual harassment and how to respond to it, and jokes. According to the statement, “students who have taken the class say the course teaches them about morality, relationships, and consequences.”
Another handout provided to Inside Higher Ed details three “secret and personal” journal entry assignments. The handout states that Kubistant will not read the entries because they are so personal, but he will scan them to make sure students covered all the topics, which include describing body image and turn-ons. The third journal question on the handout is, “Your orgasms: Draw them!” For this entry, students were asked to describe different types of orgasms and describe how they sexually stimulate themselves, specifically referring to certain parts of the female anatomy.
Kubistant required students to sign a waiver on the first day of class, but Royce contends that course material and assignments were far more explicit than what was suggested by the waiver.
Two of the comments on the Inside Higher Ed story hit the nail on the head:
While we are not presented with the full and complete language of the acknowledgement/agreement students signed at the beginning of the semester, there seems to be a significant difference between exposure to words that some may find offensive and being required to reveal intimately personal information that is wrought with psychological baggage–for all. Clearly this instructor has confused his related, but separate, roles as a professional counselor and a classroom instructor.
And we need human sexuality courses for credit at state schools because?
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