A Feminist Theory and Queer History professor at Northern Arizona University flipped out a student—because he was reading the Bible before class started.
Mark Holden, 22, told Fox News that his professor, Heather Martel, ordered him to put the Bible away, about six minutes before class began. When Holden refused, Martel called the department chairman, Dr. Derek Heng.
When Dr. Heng arrived, Holden recorded the conversation, which he later released to local congressional candidate Kevin Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh then released the audio to Fox News.
“So Professor Martel says that she doesn’t want you sitting in front of her because you put, you know, a Bible out, right?” Heng asked Holden, in the recording.
When Holden specifically clarified that Martel was angry because he was reading the Bible, Heng waffled: “No, I think she, I mean, well,” Heng said. “Why do you have your Bible out anyway?”
“I’m just reading before class,” Holden explained.
After some more back and forth, Heng again urged Holden to put his Bible away. Holden told Heng that he would keep reading, but put the Bible away before the class began. Heng told Holden that he would speak to the professor directly. Holden, apparently, was then kicked out of the lecture hall.
It wasn’t Holden’s first dustup with Professor Martel. In one previous incident, Holden brought up the story of two Muslim men in California who said the Koran justified abusing women, to a question about assimilation. Martel, apparently, called Holden a racist and told him that his behavior would not be tolerated in class.
Martel reportedly then told the class: “Welcome to Trump’s new America – where straight white males can say prejudicial things without being reprimanded for it.”
In another incident, Martel sent Holden an email warning him about “disputing behavior,” and ordering him to sit in a desk in the back of the room.
Neither Martel nor Northern Arizona University have responded to media inquiries, asking for their side of the story.