INDIANA, Pa. (KDKA) — More accusations of bullying against a professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
IUP launched an investigation after graduate student Christina Santiago said she felt bullied by an instructor because she’s a lesbian. She said it happened at the Eberly College of Business.
Now, an IUP graduate has contacted KDKA-TV to say the same thing happened to him five years ago with the same professor, and he says his heart broke when he heard that it had happened to someone else.
“You see teenagers and college students committing suicide because they don’t feel accepted, and you know we just can’t afford to lose another life to bullying,” said Michael Heller. “Especially from a university professor – a tenured university professor – who should be teaching business not bigotry.”
Heller, who is gay, described a list of anti-gay comments he claims the professor told the class: “God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve, and that being gay was an abomination. That anybody that was gay was going to burn in Hell and that’s what they deserved.”
Heller says he had to leave the room because he was in tears. “It destroyed me because at that point in my life, I wasn’t really sure who I was,” said Heller. “I had just come out of the closet a few years earlier.”
Heller says he complained to IUP at the time and is frustrated that current students are allegedly hearing the same comments.
Students rallied for tolerance last week on the IUP campus after word spread of what Santiago claimed happened in her class.
She describes similar words and phrases as Heller. She also claims that students and the teacher laughed at her.
“I raised my hand and I asked the professor, ‘So are you saying that students like myself, who identify as homosexual, are disgusting abnormal and unnatural?’ and the professor replied, ‘Yes.’”
Santiago filed a complaint with the school and contacted the American Civil Liberties Union.
KDKA-TV has tried repeatedly to contact the professor, but so far, no response.
A spokesperson for IUP says she can’t comment on whether this instructor has ever faced these allegations before, but she does say the current investigation is in the fact-finding stage.