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UK: Prestigious Eton College fires teacher over lessons on radical feminism

Students of the prestigious Eton College in the United Kingdom are protesting against the dismissal of teacher Will Knowland, who, in his lecture titled "The Paradox of Patriarchy", he discussed innate differences between men and women and radical feminism with his class

After Knowland refused to remove this online lecture from his personal YouTube channel, the school management fired him for violating disciplinary rules, according to Czech news portal Echo24. However, the school’s action outraged many students as well as their parents. They created an online petition in which they argue that Knowland did not deviate from the standards of academic debate, and his lecture was based on scientific sources.

The video lecture was intended for the senior students of the elite boys' school within the course called "Perspectives", which introduces students to the issues of critical thinking, and current controversial and social debates. The video itself focuses on the traditional perception of male characteristics and admits innate differences in abilities and predispositions between men and women. According to Knowland, however, these differences are denied, for example, by radical feminism.

One of Knowland’s colleagues complained about such an approach to the subject. In response, the school director asked Knowland to delete the video of the lecture from the school’s platform, as well as a video from his personal YouTube channel. However, the teacher refused to do so and was subsequently\ fired for disobeying and violating discipline.

According to the students, who launched a petition for the return of the teacher, there was nothing extremely derogatory in the lecture that would deviate from the traditional academic debate. They added that Knowland cited dozens of scientific papers and materials and based his conclusions on trustworthy academic sources. Although the school principal later explained that the problem was not the video but rather the teacher’s disobedience to remove the video, signatories of the petition argue that, in the first place, there was no reason to delete the lecture.

Not only the pupils but also some of their parents and renowned graduates stood up for Knowland, helping the petition to gain over 1,800 signatures on Monday. Steven Pinker, a Harvard psychology professor, also wrote a letter to the director of Eton College.

"Mr. Knowland presented the ideas in his video with the academic nuances and sensitivity one would expect. It lists at least 41 academic citations," students pointed out in an open letter attached to the petition.

"We have difficulties finding out where Mr. Knowland's video has shifted from academic debate to a discriminatory private opinion," they added, noting that the issue seems not to be how the teacher presented the ideas but rather the very nature of those thoughts.

The students also stressed that Knowland, as a supporter of minority and conservative opinion, has become a victim of the majority, and his dismissal violates the principle of free thought in academia. In their letter, they further mentioned that expelling Knowland would make his personal life very difficult as the teacher has several children, one of whom is disabled.

Title image: Wearing their traditional morning dress, pupils gather behind a barrier to watch Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during a visit to Eton College in Windsor, Thursday May 17, 2010, to mark the 150th anniversary of the college's combined cadet force. Eton College, Britain's most prestigious school, is an independent boarding school for boys aged 13-18, and was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI.(AP Photo/David Parker, pool) Picture David Parker 27.05.10

Source: Remix News

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