Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
College rehires Christian biology prof it fired who taught sex determined by chromosomes

Decision comes after Texas lawmakers lobbied on scholar’s behalf

St. Philips College has agreed to rehire a Christian biology professor after he filed a religious discrimination charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The decision by the San Antonio-based school will ward off a potential lawsuit from the scholar, Johnson Varkey, who alleged administrators fired him after he taught that X and Y chromosomes determine sex in humans.

First Liberty Institute on Tuesday announced St. Philip’s College reinstated Varkey a year after he was fired for teaching standard principles about human biology and reproduction.

“We are happy that the Alamo Community College District voluntarily reinstated Dr. Varkey,” Kayla Toney, associate counsel, stated in a news release. “He is excited by this outcome, and we are glad that [the Alamo Community College District] did the right thing. Dr. Varkey looks forward to continuing to educate students.”

An Alamo Colleges spokesperson confirmed it reinstated Varkey but offered no additional comment, the San Antonio Current reported. The two sides have not disclosed any additional settlement details other than Varkey has been reinstated.

The decision comes after Texas lawmakers lobbied on Varkey’s behalf.

On Dec. 20, five Texas lawmakers — including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Congressmen Chip Roy and Dan Crenshaw — co-signed a letter to St. Philip’s College President Adena Williams Loston demanding answers, stating they are concerned district leaders “appear to be violating federal and state civil rights laws by rashly and wrongfully terminating employees based on unsubstantiated allegations.”

The college also backed down against Varkey after Will Moravits, a political science professor and former police officer who was effectively fired by St. Philip’s College in 2023 after allowing debate on topics such as gender ideology and police brutality, received a $185,000 settlement.

Varkey’s firing came after four students walked out of his class in November 2022 in an act of protest, allegedly in part over his teaching that X and Y chromosomes determine sex in humans.

Varkey’s letter of termination, included as an exhibit in the complaint, stated the school had “‘received numerous complaints’ about his ‘religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric, and misogynistic banter.’”

As The College Fix previously reported, Varkey’s EEOC complaint denied allegations he “preached” in class.

“While I never preached or proselytized in class, the accusation of religious preaching was clearly in connection with the fact that I serve as an associate pastor,” Varkey stated in his complaint. “I would mention this by way of introduction at the beginning of each semester, so my students were aware.”

“The college assumed I was preaching rather than teaching due to negative, discriminatory stereotypes about Christians. This perception was inaccurate and discriminatory. If not for my beliefs about gender, sexuality, and human life, I would not have been fired.”

Varkey said his lessons are based on standard principles about biology and reproduction.

“During my lecture on the human reproductive system, I stated that human sex is determined by chromosomes X and Y, and that reproduction must occur between a male and a female to continue the human species,” he stated in his complaint.

“…Because no information is added or deleted in those 38 weeks, life starts when the zygote begins to divide, not when the baby is born. In the course of teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology, I made these statements in every class for 19 years, without any incident or complaint.”

The complaint had pointed out that during Varkey’s nearly 20-year employment as a biology professor at St. Philip’s College, he consistently received exemplary performance reviews and was never subjected to discipline.

MORE: College pays fired conservative professor $185,000 to avoid free speech lawsuit

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.