". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


‘Stand and Fight’: Conservative Professor Receives $185K Settlement after Being Fired for Classroom Debate

January 2, 2024

In March of 2023, St. Philip’s College fired political science professor Will Moravits for facilitating debates on gender ideology and police brutality. In September, Moravits received a $185,000 settlement.

Represented by the Academic Freedom Alliance, Moravits was prepared to file a federal lawsuit against the district based on the infringement on his constitutionally protected rights, like freedom of speech and academic freedom. Instead, the San Antonio school and Moravits settled, bringing the lawsuit to a close.

“Don’t let institutions push you around,” Moravits said in a comment to The College Fix. As a former police officer, he added, “The constitution is on our side. They are hoping to bully us and make us go away. Stand and fight. This is the future of our country. There are organizations that can help you.”

Moravits first came under fire after one female student raised concerns that her professor had allegedly made “rude, offensive and discriminatory comments.” Some of these comments, according to the student, were homophobic and she accused Moravits of advocating for police brutality. These claims were contradictory to what Moravits wrote in his 2022 book, “The Blue Divide: Policing and Race in America,” where he openly stands against police brutality.

According to The Post Millennial, Moravits was joined by three students who gave affidavits claiming that her accusations were fabricated. Despite an official investigation, Moravits was suspended, fired, and then escorted from campus under an armed guard.

“It seemed like they were trying to get him on something,” affidavit signer Nathan Marin said. “I’m pleased it got settled. They kicked him out based on no evidence, just hearsay.”

Moravits’s draft complaint states that, “The supposedly improper thoughts and expressions of Dr. Moravits constituted nothing more than leading a critical class discussion about current controversial issues in American life such as gender ideology, transgender rights, race, and police brutality.”

On December 19, the college’s spokesperson, Kristi Wyatt, told The College Fix via email that officials uphold, “internal and mandated investigation processes and, when necessary, mediations and the court system to safeguard rights and facilitate a fair and just outcome.” She refrained from discussing questions about Moravits.

This is not the first time St. Philip’s College has been accused of assaulting their own professor’s free speech. In January of 2023, Christian biology adjunct professor Johnson Varkey was fired for teaching that X and Y chromosomes determine sex. After his 20-year tenure teaching human anatomy and physiology at the college, Varkey received a termination letter stating he had “pushed beyond the bounds of academic freedom,” according to The Texan. The letter also stated that students had complained about his “religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric, and misogynistic banter.”

First Liberty Institute quickly jumped to Varkey’s defense and submitted a letter to St. Philip’s College asking for Varkey’s reinstatement in order to avoid legal action. According to First Liberty Institute, “In November 2022, four students walked out of Dr. Varkey’s class when he stated … that sex was determined by chromosomes X and Y” but “in two decades of teaching these basic, unremarkable concepts, no other students complained.”

Varkey’s case is still unresolved, according to The College Fix, despite five Texas lawmakers signing a letter “demanding answers.” While Varkey’s situation has yet to find a resolution, Moravits has moved on to teach political science at Texas State University. He has reported that he enjoys this new position and his co-workers treat him with respect.