Title IX

Word Used By 'Pimp' in Improv Sketch Gets Him Banned From Community College

Student barred from Moraine Valley Community College for using an "unacceptable word" while playing the role of a pimp in an improvisational sketch class.


Juska Wendland

Having been barred from Moraine Valley Community College for using an "unacceptable word" while playing the role of a pimp in an improvisational sketch class, Joshua Zale is suing his school, claiming his free speech and due process rights were violated.

Remarkably, given the way he alleges he was treated, Zale, of Oak Lawn, Illinois, is asking a judge to clear the way for him to register again for classes at Moraine Valley, outside of Chicago. And for monetary damages.

No one, including Zale in the lawsuit he filed on his own behalf in Cook County Circuit Court, has disclosed what the unacceptable word was. But Zale uttered it when asked by his instructor, Craig Rosen, to assume the role of a pimp asking for money from another student, playing the role of a sex worker.

Rosen harshly reprimanded Zale, who on April 20 met privately with Rosen to ask why he had been chastised for using a word in keeping with the role Rosen asked him to play, according to the suit. Zale then met with Rosen and Lisa Kelsay, an assistant dean, who later accused Zale of violating Title IX and school conduct policies for mistreating Kelsay "as a woman."

School administrators demanded Zale write a "what I learned from this incident" essay, including reflection on the college's core values, as punishment, or they would put a hold on his student account and prevent him from registering for classes.

Not only did Zale refuse to write the infantilizing essay, but he refused to attend a subsequent disciplinary hearing, contending the school refused to allow him to confront his accusers. Administrators responded by blocking his registration, claiming he violated the student conduct code on "physical/verbal abuse or harassment."

Neither the professor nor the administrators mentioned in the lawsuit would comment on the case, and a spokesperson said the college does not comment on pending litigation.

Perhaps the lawsuit will force the Moraine Valley administration to ask what it has learned from the incident. If instructors assign pimp-sex worker improv roleplays, should they be surprised if the bounds of what is normally socially acceptable in a classroom are stretched?

The response to "unacceptable" speech shouldn't be to stifle it, but to engage with it and discern what is unacceptable to say in an improv setting. This was an improv scene where Zale was supposed to be thinking on his feet for the sake of humor and theatrics. After all, what would be rewarded in that sort of performance if not realism?

Zale is rightly claiming the school violated his procedural due process rights. His punishment was "arbitrary and capricious," the charges levied against him were "wholly conclusory, containing no factual statements whatsoever," and he was not informed of these charges with adequate notice.

To make matters worse, the proposed hearing had no real semblance of impartiality, because it would have been conducted by one of the administrators who initially charged Zale with misconduct. No wonder Zale chose to opt out.

This case shows just how far administrators are willing to go to suppress student speech. If improv-humor-gone-awry results in arbitrary punishments, what will administrators try to squelch next? And what good is an education if you can't creatively challenge the world around you––and with it, the bounds of socially acceptable language?

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    1. Don’t call my bitch a ho.

    2. Those gosh darn bimbos better give me my money or I’ll scold them harshly!

      1. “Bimbos” is so othering.

  1. I see the root problem. Pharoah could believe that “So let it be written, so let it be done” was actually the way to change things. Statists in general, and especially Progressives, think the same today. So obviously these “educators” think that forcing improv students to act in ways that the professors deem correct will actually propagate on through and change society as a whole.

    They are just doing this for society’s good!

    1. So obviously these “educators” think that forcing improv students to act in ways that the professors deem correct will actually propagate on through and change society as a whole.

      I think this is right.

      I noticed this attitude when I was in grad school studying literature. All humanities professors live by the Percy Shelley line “poets are the unseen legislators of the world.”

      They believe that since a society looks back and values poets from the past that reflect current values, that the poets therefore caused those values to come into being. That there were a whole bunch of other poets expressing ideas that didn’t legislate the world never seems to strike them.

      1. People value poets?

      2. The poets of the past were obviously the people with the ideas, because they were the ones who wrote down the ideas! It’s wasn’t Plato, it was Homer!

  2. Was it one of George Carlin’s seven words?


    1. It was “fart.”

        1. “Trump”.

    2. No, the word was “employee.” And we all know prostitutes can’t be employees, because there is no such thing as a voluntary prostitute. There are only sex trafficking victims.

  3. The teacher was testing whether he would act poorly when told to. He failed the test.

    1. Just like Abraham!

  4. Was it a ‘killing word’?

    1. +1 kwisatz haderach

      1. +1 MUAD’DIB

        1. +1 CHANI is hawt in the sexy little red stillsuit



    I’m guessing the word was ‘nigger’. I mean pimp, ho and nigga go hand in hand in hand no? At least, that’s what the rap songs teach us.

    1. I think you are right, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that it was the N word.

      1. Does it mean I’m woke?

      2. I’d bet just about anything it wasn’t. He violated her as a woman, not as a person of color.

        I’d wager just about any amount of money it was ‘ho’. That’s the first word basically anyone says when you tell them to act like a pimp. ‘Bitch’ is in there, but ‘ho’ is the runaway leader.

        1. It *could* still be nigger.

          /I have immunity on the word because I’m Canadian.

          Nigger, nigger, nigger.

          Nothing happens to me. See?

          1. I used the N word liberally in my youth in a very troll fashion on the interwebs, world of warcraft, xbox live…

            I still feel fine using it in an academic sense, historical sense, quoting Mark Twain, etc.

            But these days in personal usage, eh, it’s rarely my intention to hurt people’s feelings, and the N word is still in it’s own class — it’s not a snowflake thing, it’s a respect thing. I do believe the vested power wrapped up in the word needs to be diminished somehow for the sake of race relations, but at the same time, I have no problem curbing my usage simply as a sign of respect for those who do not wish me to use it.

            1. Yeh I joke about it but I never use it. Like you said, respect.

          2. Come back tomorrow and see if you are still here – – – – –

        2. Nah, my bet is on “cunt”.

          1. That was my first thought when I read the offended ho was a bitch.

      3. But that word isn’t offensive to *women* which was their justification (hence the involvement of title 9).

        My guess is bitch or cunt.

    2. I’ll bet it was nigger’s supposedly less offensive cousin nigga.

    3. Given the context, it might have been “bitch”.


  6. “Ya jamoke”

    1. I found some “Jamaica Mistake” salad dressing. Not bad, sorta Caesar-like.

  7. Just when I thought I was going to make it through the day without reading something liquor inducing, this happens.

    Liz you…. Scandinavian slwhore!

  8. Jesus. The teacher created a pimp/whore scenario. Isn’t that the Title IX violation (if there is one)?

    1. you know, I don’t remember reason posting an article where a student charged a teacher with a title IX violation. It’s always the other way around. Maybe students should start flooding the system with baseless claims against their administrators as there are no consequences to false claims. If those in power have to contend with the same system they force on the plebs, maybe it will quietly go away; or cost the universities so much in litigation from wrongfully fired professors that they will be forced to change the policy. And before someone says it will be up to the title IX Admin to determine, charge that person first, they will be forced to hire a “special admin” to officiate.

      1. A female professor was charged with some asinine Title IX violation, and for some reason, the University had to hire ou of state outside counsel. Memory says it cost them $200K or so, and nothing else happened, except of course the professor couldn’t teach during that time.

        So yes, it would be excellent to have admins charged with Title IX violations. That shit would stop in a hurry.

        1. Excellent points. I’m sure Profs aren’t challenged often because students want a good grade, not a fight.

      2. Well, under Title IX there are no baseless claims. All claims are valid, accusation implies guilt, and facts are not required.
        So, well, you know, that just won’t work.

    1. The comments in that article are crazy, and look at the forum where I’m saying that!

    2. It’s disturbing the way Google (Goolag) operates and pushes its weight around.

  9. The unacceptable word is ‘daffodil’.

    Oh no! Now I said it!

    1. Ni!

    2. ‘Jehovah!’

  10. The word was “female.” He assumed his classmate’s gender and triggered zer’s self-diagnosed PTSD.

    1. Pathetic Trump Syndrome Disorder??

  11. Oh, I know!!!
    It was improv, therefore like a theatre, and he yelled FIRE!

    1. Wolf!

  12. Ironic, that the First Rule of Improv is to always affirm any choice your improv partner makes.

    /picks up internetz trophy, goes home

    1. Wait — THAT is the First Rule of Improv? I thought the First Rule of Improv was that we don’t talk about Improv.

      I was either mislead, or I was just unwittingly tricked into breaking the First Rule…oh shit!

      1. Severely misled. The first Rule is as I stated.

        The Second Rule is: Never pass up a chance to talk about how you “do Improv”.

  13. No one, including Zale in the lawsuit he filed on his own behalf in Cook County Circuit Court, has disclosed what the unacceptable word was.

    “Stop saying *the word*!”

    1. Hereafter referred to as the “w”-*ord

  14. Improv doesn’t mean sh*t. I’m sorry..I’m sorry I apologized. I’m sorry I started this. There’s no end in sight. Sorry, good night

  15. Bird Bird Bird. Birds the word.

  16. If improv-humor-gone-awry results in arbitrary punishments, what will administrators try to squelch next?

    And…. you’ve already lost the argument.

    By ceding the point that saying “Yo, Bitch, gimme my money!” in an improv sketch about a pimp asking one of his prostitutes for money is somehow inappropriate or “gone awry”, you’ve lost the day. Profanity and insults are standard fare in humor, theater and improvisational settings. Unless there is something that I can’t imagine involved in his improvisational sketch, he’s walking down the middle of the road, not out in the weeds on the edge of what is acceptable.

    1. Is Wayne Brady gonna hafta choka a bitch?


      1. My bitch better have my money
        Through rain, sleet, or snow
        My whore better have my money
        Not half, not some, but all my cash
        Cause if she don’t,
        I’m gonna put my foot in her ass.

        – “Bitch Better Have My Money”
        by Flyguy, Pimp of the Year

  17. Were I a legislator in the state of Illinois I would introduce a bill changing the name of Moraine Valley Community College to “Special Snowflake Day Care and Kindergarten”.

    1. And at the same time, eliminate it’s funding – – – –

      1. Nonsense. At the same time I would impose an exit exam, requiring those silly enough to subscribe to the Social Justice Warrior bushwa to be kept inside.

        1. They’re already kept inside; they call them “professors”.

    2. How about Moron Valley?

  18. I think, that the response to unacceptable speech shouldn’t be to stifle it, but to engage with it and discern what is unacceptable to say in an improve setting. This was an improve scene where that guy was supposed to be thinking on his feet for the sake of humor and theatrics. No reason to be shy as I think. Also, this resource could help in writing a good essays and speeches pro-papers.com

  19. Dr Rosen is a great teacher and a kind person. He doesn’t usually care about bad words in class at all. Its the dean of the code of conduct and this lady (she is a manger at that office or something) who works under him, who always take these kinds of situations and harass students. They do not follow the code of conduct the way its written and in fact that code is not up to state regulation, plus they watch you around campus and save camera footage. That office files reports from that office in teachers’ names all the time and forces said teacher to go along with it. the persecution of said report is never present when the student goes to their hearing, which the student doesn’t always get and sanctions are usually inforced in the first letter the student gets from that office, which is not under mentioned in the code of conduct (it only talks of sanctions being placed after the hearing). its just the student , maybe a parent or college staff member of their choosing as an adviser, only what the student says is written down in their hearing report and no one is allowed to speak on their behalf, including a lawyer should they bring one. They do not allow students with disabilities to have an advocate even though that’s against the law and usually the student is punished further should they talk to a teacher or friend about the whole situation with that office.

    1. That office is the only corrupt thing about that school and the assistant president , who is in charge of that office and the center of disabilities does not do her job controlling the employees of that office. she just makes it look that way. the sectary of the office is incredibly kind and has nothing to do with the embarrassing and childish actions of her fellow employees. She just helps run student clubs and the student life office. I myself have gotten banned from that school twice, limited to where I could on campus, had a no contact order placed on me, and kicked off of stage crew for a musical, all because of that office. I took voice lessons there during high school before I became a student in 2015. I was treated completely unfairly by that office and I still am suffering and going to therapy because of the emotional abuse. My teachers took my side and one of them even came to defend me at a rehearing. that kindness still moves me to tears.

  20. This story is nuts. Some staff take themselves too seriously but there’s alot of good teachers there. Rosen is a good guy and nice teacher. I bet it wasn’t Rosen’s idea to punish Zale but those teachers have to follow their bosses rules. I’ve had other teachers that care about students and will do what they can to help them out. Their hot art teacher has sexy pictures online and shows herself so stoned. So the whole school isn’t bad.

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