LSU Bars Graduate Student from Teaching After Profane Phone Call

BATON ROUGE (AP) — State police are investigating and Louisiana State University has barred a graduate student from teaching after officials said the student left a profane phone message for a state lawmaker.

Local news outlets report LSU identified the student as Marcus Venable. Officials say he left the message for a lawmaker who voted to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

State Sen. Mike Fesi, a Republican from Houma, said he contacted the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office after receiving the voicemail on Tuesday. That’s the day that lawmakers voted to override Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto of the ban

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In a copy of the voicemail that spread widely on social media, Venable told Fesi that he can’t wait to see his name in the obituaries and makes a reference to putting his “f(asterisk)—(asterisk)ing ass in the ground.”

Fesi argued during debate that people who had received treatment for gender dysphoria when younger than 18 regretted it and now “hate their parents for letting this happen to them.” Research has show regret is relatively rare, especially when children receive comprehensive psychological counseling before starting treatment

Fesi told WAFB-TV that he respects Venable’s right to have an opinion, but he said the message “goes too far.”

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State police confirmed they are investigating the complaint, but added no further comment.

LSU officials said Venable would be allowed to remain as a student, but he would no longer be “given the privilege of teaching as part of their graduate assistantship.”

“As a university, we foster open and respectful dialogue. Like everyone, graduate students with teaching assignments have the right to express their opinions, but this profanity-filled, threatening call crossed the line,” the university said in a statement.

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The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression sent a letter to LSU asking the university to drop its investigation and reinstate the chance for Venable work as a teaching assistant.

 

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