Two tenured Bryan College professors that were notified their employment will be terminated on May 17 after they failed to acknowledge the college’s recent “clarification” on the origins of man in their contract renewal are suing the college in Rhea County Chancery Court.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Monday, states that when the Bryan College Board of Trustees approved a “clarification” to the school’s statement of faith saying that man descended from Adam and Eve and did not evolve from other species, it was effectively altering the Bryan College statement of faith. The school’s charter expressly forbids an alteration to the college’s statement of faith.
Professor of natural science Stephen Barnett and professor of education and chair of the education department Steven DeGeorge are suing the school in the hopes of getting their jobs back in addition to asking the court to declare the “clarification” on the origins of man void.
The lawsuit states that: “The Charter includes, in part, a ‘statement of belief’ that ‘must be subscribed to by each person who shall occupy a position of authority or responsibility as a trustee, officer or member of the faculty.’”
The school’s statement of belief must be reaffirmed and signed every year by Bryan College professors, the lawsuit states.
In regards to the statement of faith, the college’s charter states that “this platform shall never be changed or amended, but shall constitute the religious position and belief of the institution as long as it shall endure.”
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