Baylor recurring lecturer tweets controversial message

A tweet sent out by English professor is reported by Baylor students in several organizations on campus. Screenshot from Twitter

Editor’s Note: Earlier this week we published a story surrounding tweets made by Dr. Christina Crenshaw that received backlash from Baylor students. In reporting on the story, we characterized the tweets as “transphobic.” We have since updated the story to instead describe the statements as controversial.

We would like to formally apologize for this error in our reporting. It was irresponsible to publish the story as was originally posted. We should have simply reported on the facts of the situation, and we would like to apologize to Dr. Crenshaw for this lapse in our publication’s journalistic standards and for unfairly labeling her tweets. Our job is to report on the news on our campus, and we made a mistake in the manner in which we went about that. Our characterization of the statements was inappropriate, and we fully apologize for any harm this may have caused.

In no way did Baylor have any knowledge of the story before it was published, nor did the administration demand or request an apology on our behalf since then. We take full responsibility for this mistake, and it shall serve as an important lesson about the power words have as we continue our education in journalism.

By Emily Cousins | Staff Writer

Dr. Christina Crenshaw, a recurring lecturer for the English department, tweeted controversial content on Jan. 21 in response to Daniel Darling’s tweet referring to President Joe Biden’s new policies involving transgender rights as “anti-science.”

The original quote retweet written by Crenshaw caused Baylor students to report her message to Title IX, BU Equity, Baylor NAACP and It’s On Us BU. It has since been deleted.

“But what if I don’t want my biological sons in the bathroom with my biological daughters? Do the 99% of us who do not wrestle with gender dysphoria have a voice? No? What if I told you Title IX was never meant to apply to >1% of the students over the 99%? Doesn’t matter? OK. Cool,” Crenshaw quote retweeted.

Crenshaw also left a comment on Darling’s tweet similar to her quote retweet that has not been deleted.

“What if I don’t want biological boys in the bathroom with my biological daughter? Do the 99% of us who do not struggle with gender dysphoria have a voice? No? Cool,” Crenshaw commented.

Crenshaw also retweeted controversial content condemning Biden’s Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.

Baylor representative Lori Fogleman said Crenshaw is not on faculty this spring.

“We have confirmed that she is not teaching any classes this spring,” Fogleman said. “The online directory has not been updated at this time to reflect this fact.”

Baylor declined to comment further.

Dr. Kevin Gardner, english professor and department chair, said in an email Crenshaw isn’t teaching this semester, but they plan to ask for her back.

“Dr. Crenshaw is a temporary lecturer in the English department,” Gardner said. “She has been teaching for us off and on for several years, and she has proven to be one of our most accomplished instructors of ENG 1310.”

Round Rock senior Ashley Nitsche, secretary and treasurer of Gamma Alpha Upsilon, said she had Crenshaw as an English professor in Spring 2020.

“I was upset because it eliminates another professor as one of our allies, because we have been searching for potential allies and professors for the past 10 years,” Nitsche said. “More recently, the board and I have been talking about different ways to talk to these professors to get them in touch with our students so that our students know that they are safe with these professors if an issue comes up. Honestly, it’s really disappointing to see Dr. Crenshaw leave that list. I feel confused and conflicted about all of it. I’m very worried about if any other professors at Baylor align with these ideals as well because that just means more and more supporters falling away.”

Portland senior Emma Fraley, president of Gamma Alpha Upsilon, said this kind of message from a Baylor professor is exactly why Gamma Alpha Upsilon needs to be an official student organization.

“To know that this is a person who was hired by Baylor University, they’ve given her their stamp of approval,” Fraley said. “Even if she isn’t a teacher here this semester, she was at one point, and she might be again. I think that is the sort of thing where it really just goes to show that [Baylor] lives in silence on this subject. For them to have not responded … for them to just not say anything at all, it reinforces that idea that they are silently in support of what she has to say.”

Fraley said Gamma Alpha Upsilon is a support group for the LGBTQ community, and being officially chartered would give students an official place to go when faculty, staff, administration or students discriminate and harass them.

“For [Crenshaw] to have been employed by the university and then to make these comments, it just goes to show that she is really representing us,” Fraley said. “We do not want this to be the sort of thing that people see Baylor as. We don’t want to be known as a transphobic university. We don’t want to be known as a homophobic university. We want to be known as a safe and loving place where we can show Christ’s love to all people.”

Crenshaw declined to comment.

Updated: This story previously referred to the tweets as “transphobic.” It has since been updated to instead refer to the tweets as controversial.