In the wake of sexual assault revelations on its campus, Baylor University, the largest Baptist university in the world, has agreed to adopt a set of Title IX recommendations in the governing of the institution. But one particular recommendation could potentially violate the religious liberty of Baylor faculty, students, and staff.
Under this recommendation, Baylor University will continue to mandate that all students, faculty, and staff go through annual training using “…multi-disciplinary programming to address the issues of sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, gender equity, tolerance, diversity, inclusion, intersectionality, alcohol and substance abuse, consent, social media, bullying and hazing, classism, racism, and other issues…”
The Title IX recommendation boasts that “…97% [of faculty and staff] have completed a second course entitled, Intersections: Preventing Harassment, Discrimination, & Sexual Violence. Participants are required to correctly answer content questions in order to complete the training.”
This university-mandated training includes directions to faculty on how to deal with transgender individuals. Directly from one of the training slides, “If you don’t know someone’s preferred pronoun, ask privately and use it when referring to them. If you slip up, apologize and move on.”
But the crusade for political correctness doesn’t end there.
Faculty are further instructed to “support gender neutral restrooms,” as the curriculum states that “individuals may use whichever bathroom aligns with their gender identity.” They are also asked to “identify unknown people through gender-neutral features like ‘the person in blue’ rather than ‘woman in blue.’”
This instruction stands in stark contrast to the official position of the Southern Baptist Convention, with which Baylor is affiliated. From the SBC’s website, “…gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self perception…”
Because of the adoption of these Title IX recommendations, many members of Baylor’s faculty and staff could be forced to act in ways that directly contradict their religious beliefs—even those of the religion Baylor University is officially affiliated with. Should they refuse, faculty and staff could face potential disciplinary action by the university.
According to a blog post in The American Conservative, Baylor University president Linda Livingstone sent a faculty-wide email advocating for staff to complete the training or face potential consequences.
“Completing the course will be an important factor included in both the faculty and staff performance review processes…those who do not complete the online training will have the incompletion noted as an area of concern on their annual performance review,” wrote Livingstone.
While Baylor University is a private institution which is and should be free to implement whatever policies and procedures it wishes, the proposed regulations should worry conservative students and faculty nationwide.
If Title IX can completely undo the traditional culture of Baylor, long considered one of the most conservative universities in the United States, there is nowhere safe from its reach.