MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

USC Education Student Filed a Title IX Complaint Because Another Student’s Answer Offended Her

Rossier School of Education student also created a petition to require racial sensitivity training.

USCLan56 / Wikimedia CommonsHere's how one University of Southern California student handled an awkward moment: She complained to the professor, filed a Title IX report when the professor declined to spend an entire class period litigating the matter, dropped the course entirely, and then launched a petition demanding that everyone who offended her be forced to undergo racial sensitivity training.

That's according to write-ups of the incident in The Daily Trojan and The College Fix, which offer details of Rossier School of Education student Gina Loring's curious quest for justice.

Loring was completing group work with some other students in her Learning 525 class last September when someone typed a thoughtless and racially problematic answer into a shared document. The group had been asked to consider how to increase "the number of women of color who receive prenatal care," and another student wrote, "sterilize them" and "take away their babies at birth." It's not clear whether this student—a white female student—was serious about this; as Loring would later write in her petition to the college, "the white female student admitted she had written the comments and then deleted them, stating her group, which included her and two latinx women, did not 'agree' with the comments, but had offered them as a possible solution, as that was their understanding of the exercise."

Loring demanded that the instructor, Dr. Kimberly Hirabayashi, address the matter. Dr. Hirabayashi obliged, but not to Loring's satisfaction, According to Loring:

I said I did not think we should move on, and stated I was stunned by the inappropriate and offensive nature of the comments, given the socio-historical context of sterilization and separating families as tools of oppression and genocide, as well as the saliency of current immigration policies separating children from their parents. Several other students also expressed their discomfort with the comments. A white male student defended the students who had written the comments, stating there was no ill intention. The instructor took a diplomatic stance, stating she wanted to maintain a comfortable learning environment, and repeatedly emphasized that no one should feel blamed. At her invitation, I met with Dr. Hirabayashi prior to the next class meeting and requested she bring resolve to the incident by acknowledging the comments as inappropriate and holding the students accountable. She then proceeded to open class with a vague statement about the incident, at no point addressing the comments directly. She then redirected the focus to the day's lesson plan: a case study surrounding the disproportionately high pregnancy-related mortality rates of women of color. The incident was thus not only left without resolution, it was magnified.

Loring ultimately dropped the class and filed a complaint with the university's Title IX office, which ostensibly handles sexual misconduct. She also launched a petition that calls on the university to mandate critical race theory training for Dr. Hirabayashi, the students involved in the group work, and all first-year students in the school of education. The petition has been signed by more than 800 people, last I checked.

This incident is a strong example of a phenomenon I've noticed among aggrieved leftist students: immediate, constant appeals to authority. It was not enough for the professor to briefly address what was an admittedly stupid move by a fellow classmate—according to this activist, the very curriculum of the education program should be rewritten so as to make offensive statements not merely unutterable, but unthinkable in the first place. And while anyone can make a petition about anything, the Title IX process is a powerful tool for formal adjudication of problematic speech and conduct.

Photo Credit: Lan56 / Wikimedia Commons

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The petition has been signed by more than 800 people, last I checked.

    The petition was a bad move. Sure, 800 people know her name as someone outraged, but those same 800 people have watered down her specialness.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    She's got her own website (no stalking please)

    She claims African American, Eastern European Jewish, and Muskogee Creek Native American heritage, so she's got a bazillion victim points.

    And she "alchemizes sociopolitical issues into art". So there's that.

  • Ben of Houston||

    She also apparently manufactures word salad on an industrial level. Someone to be ignored, not highlighted.

  • DiegoF||

    (no stalking please)
    She claims African American, Eastern European Jewish, and Muskogee Creek Native American heritage

    You say that, and then you go out of your way to make her sound totally fucking hot? What crowd do you think you're talking to, sir?

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    She's an alchemist, so I'd be careful if I were you.

  • SQRLSY One||

    http://deskgram.net/explore/tags/ginaloring for more of the same...

    So she "alchemizes sociopolitical issues into art"?

    If my sex organ (just like that of, say Anthony Wiener) has become so infamous as to become a "sociopolitical issue", can she pimp my ride? Turn it into art? Tattoos, anyone?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Also "She claims African American, Eastern European Jewish, and Muskogee Creek Native American heritage, so she's got a bazillion victim points."

    From bevis the lumberjack's original post...

    "Eastern European Jewish" ancestry won't score you ANY victim points in colleges... They do too well academically! Your group must be failing and flailing before you can be a victim!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Speaking of stalking, my boyfriend and I ... oh never mind.

    ;)

  • Eddy||

    Someone named Gina Loring has an IMDB page -

    https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1963815/bio

  • fdog50||

    Which concludes with "She lives in Los Angeles and believes in mermaids."

  • SQRLSY One||

    But does she believe in spermaids, and, do sperm really cause AIDS?

  • ImanAzol||

    That doesn't appear to be the same person. 40 and a professor.

  • ImanAzol||

    That doesn't appear to be the same person. 40 and a professor.

  • ||

    Sure, 800 people know her name as someone outraged, but those same 800 people have watered down her specialness.

    If you are suggesting I.P. Freely, Hu Flung Poo, Sum Ting Wong and the 797 other intellectual powerhouses on the list are any less special I think you are mistaken. She is every bit their intellectual equivalent.

  • SQRLSY One||

    With regards to Hu Flung Poo, last thing that I have seen on their Facebook page is that Hu Flung Poo wants to marry Yu Flung Poo, but Yu Flung Poo insists on a ginormously expensive set of engagement / wedding rings, and Hu Flung Poo can't spring for them... But they already have a wee little baby named Wee Flung Poo, with another bun in the oven. They are thinking of naming her Fling Flung Poo, when she arrives.

    Hu Flung Poo and Yu Flung Poo are 2nd cousins, so who knows how this-all will pan out... Stay tuned! IF ye can bear it! If ye can bear it, you will be known as the Poo Bearer!

  • SQRLSY One||

    Latest updates:

    Little Cindy Lou Who Flung Poo gave a talking-to, to the Grunch who Stole my Poo-Lunch...

    Then the Grunch's heart grew by three sizes!

    And now, all who have run the race, will get prizes!

    But do you know, your prizes, they will be made of... Who?

    You silly Foo-Foo the Snu you! They'll be made of poo!

  • JWatts||

    You are never going to see the Fist watering down his specialness!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No one puts Fist in the corner.

  • Sevo||

    Well, it IS the University of Spoiled Children.

  • Don't look at me!||

    Future job prospects cut by 75%.

  • Marshal||

    Future job prospects cut by 75%.

    That would be a sane world. But in ours:

    Employers are increasingly requiring job applicants to demonstrate both commitment and contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion, writes Deborah S. Willis, who gives advice to graduate students on how to do so.

    https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2017/08/21/
    how-graduate-students-can-demonstrate-commitment
    -diversity-job-interviews-essay

  • Rossami||

    So you're taking the word of (according to her own bio) an academic "at the Rackham Graduate School of the University of Michigan" who cites no studies or even interviews with actual employers. No data at all.

    I'd link to this but she didn't even do us the courtesy of making up a number. Just an unsourced "increasingly".

    (By the way, here's an unbroken link to Willis' article.)

  • Marshal||

    So you're taking the word of

    No. There have been multiple reports of these requirements. I and I'[m sure many others have noted them as they occurred, this article was just an easy summary of the trend.

  • majil||

    WTF is " Latinx" ?

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    Yeah, I was wondering that too. Maybe Algebra was somehow involved in this project?

  • ||

    Latinx = Y?

  • ||

    Latinx is a new gender neutral plural form of Latina or Latino. It came out a few years ago to fix perceived issues of something or another.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Latinx is a poor choice. Needs a vowel.
    Latini would be better.

    Also, "X" is being overused in this language revolution.

  • DiegoF||

    It's supposed to be. No one says wymyn anymore. By being of that period, and used by stubbornly "unreconstructed" older types native to that period, it has become tainted within feminism by traditional "trans-exclusionary" radicalism.

    "Latini" is too masculine plural. Which is how I identify, but still.

  • Zeb||

    I'm not sure what's wrong with "Latin". Or how about identifying people by their actual country of origin, or ethnic group. "Latino/latina/latinx" covers a huge and extremely diverse group. Kinda silly to cram it into one box. Or better yet, identify them as individuals.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Some counties can't afford more than one Hispanic restaurant.

  • Ben of Houston||

    I hope it was a typographical error, given that it was an adjective on the word "Women", and thus should be simply "Latin".

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    It covers the bases of the 59 latin genders, lest one freakshow be offended.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Latino is a common term for Hispanics (mixed spanish, native Mayan/Aztec ancestry). Latina is the common feminine form, a Hispanic woman.

    From the context, I would presume that Latinx is an attempt at a Latinized plural of latina.

  • DiegoF||

    No. It's the new woke gender-neutral word for Latino. (The old one was "Latino.") Nobody uses it outside of the U.S. to my knowledge, and there (for now) only on college campuses. But it's damn near universal there in a span of only two years, so good fucking luck America.

  • DiegoF||

    Also "Hispanic" normally means any native of the Spanish speaking republics of the New World, or people of Spanish descent from those parts of the New World that used to be Spanish. That is indeed a very racially mixed group, but it does not matter which Indian tribe any of your native ancestors may have been. Your definition would mean that only Central Americans and Mexicans can be Hispanic, no Puerto Ricans or Colombians for example.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    What about Brazilians, who speak
    Portuguese rather than Spanish? I think they can be classified as Latino (because Portuguese, like Spanish, French, and Italian is a Latin-based language). But calling them Hispanic might be incorrect.

  • DiegoF||

    Yes. They are not synonymous. I normally speak of "Latinos," "Latins," or "Latin Americans" for that reason, even though it's a little strange sometimes, and because "Hispanic" to me just sounds even stranger. In Spanish the adjective most often used is "hispano" which very easily just means pertaining to the Spanish-speaking world.

    Also no one calls anyone from Haiti Latino. That's just how it works.

    "Hispano" in American English, by the way, means something rather specific. It means people descended from Spanish-speaking residents of parts of the U.S. that used to be Spanish. (So tejanos, californios, nuevorleanos, etc.) I learned about them recently because they are the sector of Latinos that swung most strongly to Trump this past election; Puerto Ricans, historically the poorest, most Democratic, and like the Hispanos the only Latinos in this country not descended from immigrants to the U.S., were in second place.

  • DiegoF||

    But Cubans, the only immigrant group that had never had any illegals in decades (except anyone dumb enough to later become a fugitive from the law before they attained their accelerated citizenship), were by far the group that swung the hardest away from Trump. They were already the most Republican by a mile, of course; and I think they tend to strongly prefer establishment types.

    Mexicans were in between, and varied in subgroups in interesting and hard to explain ways. Overall Latinos like Trump a bit more than the average Republican, but not enough so far for him to save the party.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    I'd meant that more by way of examples, than an exhaustive list.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    I would think "Latinas" is the plural for a group of Latin women, but who knows these days.

    I figured a Latinix is a Latina Dominatrix. Maybe that's what actually gave rise to a Title IX complaint.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Technically, Latinas are Hispanic women, not Latin women (Latin implying Roman/Italian). I don't understand where Latin America comes from as that area was conquered by the Spanish and Portuguese, not the Italians.

    My reference to a Latinized plual was to Latin as a language, not people, as a way of being pretentious. Latin crates plurals from singulars very differently than English.

  • DiegoF||

    I am not sure how you are getting that "Latin" should imply "Italian" any more than it does the other speakers of Romance languages, or Latin Christendom, or whatever. No part of the Latin world is today considered by linguists or any other scholars any more or less Latin than any other place. It's like saying "Indo-European" implies Ukrainian, since our forebears originally came from the Pontic Steppe.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Because Latin is/was a language that hasn't been spoken by anyone on a normal everyday basis since the fall of the Roman Empire, the center of which was modern day Italy.

    Sorry, English also has Latin influences (The Roman Empire reached the British Isles), so I see no logic in considering the so called Romance languages particularly "Latin" more so than any other part of the former Roman Empire.

  • Zeb||

    Romance languages are commonly called "Latin" languages because they are the languages that arose from the vulgar Latin that was spoken in those areas during the Roman empire. It's pretty logical. They are the direct descendants of spoken Latin.

  • DiegoF||

    Indeed. There is a rigorous distinction between language descent, which is mostly about grammatical development, and loanwords. Word for word in the dictionary there are actually very few "native" Anglo-Saxon words left in modern English--even most of the Germanic words are borrowed--although they tend to be the most common and include nearly all the functional words. There are even languages--plenty of them, in fact--whose lexicon is almost entirely borrowed from a completely unrelated language. It doesn't make them part of that languages's family. The Romance languages--all of them--are the descendants of geographical dialects of later Latin. The concept of language families and language descent is not imaginary; denying it is not remotely mainstream.

    None of the other historical facts are right either. It was probably a mistake to get drawn into that. The whole thing is very bizarre.

  • Longtobefree||

    Just another made up word of no significance in the real world.
    Use it to identify people to stay away from.

  • BlueStarDragon||

    "Loring was completing group work with some other students in her Learning 525 class last September when someone typed a thoughtless and racially problematic answer into a shared document. The group had been asked to consider how to increase "the number of women of color who receive prenatal care," and another student wrote, "sterilize them" and "take away their babies at birth.""

    That's exactly how government works, That is why you should leave government out of these thing.

  • juris imprudent||

    Someone should've quoted her some Holmes about 3 generations of imbeciles.

  • Ben of Houston||

    I don't really see why we can't just stop with a "don't joke about such things" and move on.

    If it's serious, treat the idea with the derision that it deserves by not even acknowledging it as a suggestion.
    If it's a joke in bad taste, then a quick rebuke will allow everyone to move on and not waste precious class time.

  • Jerry B.||

    And they say it never snows in SoCal.

  • ||

    How can these comments be worthy of a Title IX sexual misconduct complaint?

    This sounds like the group was doing a barnstorming session to generate ideas on how to handle an issue and as such throwing out ridiculous, silly and offensive statements is par for the course.

    So this course is a 525 which tells me it's a master's level class and this lady has her bachelors degree. It also suggests that she should be mature enough to be an adult and to handle an offensive statement privately without all of these theatrics.

  • Don't look at me!||

    Yeah, good luck with all that.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, the exercise wasn't to come up with politically palatable ways to do something, just ways it could be done.

    The answers given didn't really make sense, though.

  • ||

    How can these comments be worthy of a Title IX sexual misconduct complaint?

    Without the Title IX counter-curse, even trivial jokes about forcibly sterilizing women can invoke The Handmaid's Tale demons.

  • Ken Hagler||

    I wonder if the student who made those suggestions, having been in a class with Loring up to that point, meant them to apply specifically to Loring? That would certainly be understandable...

  • Brandybuck||

    Our future leaders at work.

  • ||

    525 so it's a post-graduate course. This woman is in her 30s or later and clearly having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that where she's leading, no one's following.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It was not enough for the professor to briefly address what was an admittedly stupid move by a fellow classmate...

    Was it? Intellectual exercises can sometimes be inelegant.

  • GryFalcon||

    There was a case in Europe recently where courts ruled a person had a "right not to have religious beliefs be offended" when a woman referred to a prophet as a pedophile for having married a child. This attack on Free Speech is a worldwide movement -- petty Title IX complaints and so-called "micro-aggressions". In another case, a Wisconsin High School is being investigated by POLICE for having a photo in which they appear to be giving a Nazi salute, which is extremely creepy but... is it a police matter? I was watching The Man in the High Castle as I was reading about that particular case at the point where a high ranking Nazi officer is told he must kill his epileptic child to keep the blood pure and eliminate a the drain on society of the non-able-bodied -- or The State will do it for him. It is very troubling to see fascist currents rising in our society, but it is even more troubling to see a Washington Post writer tortured and assassinated practically in plain view. As long as we maintain Freedom of Speech, we can protest and fight back against Fascism. If we lose free speech, we are not fighting Fascism, we are inviting it. As a nation, we need to stop and reflect on the role that Free Speech played in the Civil Rights era. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. That gag you are trying to put on someone else is going to get shoved right back down your own throat.

  • Zeb||

    So, what happens when two people each find the others religious beliefs and practices offensive to their own?

    The right not to be offended is such an absurd and dangerous idea.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The next time someone complains about cultural appropriation, ask him to join your class action lawsuit against publishers of the Koran for stealing the "Jesus" and "Moses" from the Christian and Jewish scriptures respectively.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""I said I did not think we should move on, "'

    She fails to understand who is in charge of the class. That's a comment that the teacher does not have to honor.

    People like this have an over inflated view of themselves and deserve ridicule.

  • some guy||

    Filing a title IX complaint should immediately disqualify someone from any awards or acknowledgements associated with adulthood, like a college degree or a professional job. If your complaint relates to an actual crime, take it to the police (you know, the people meant to deal with actual crimes). Otherwise, learn to deal with your hurt feelings in a mature way rather than crying to Leviathan and begging it to crush those who hurt you.

  • El Oso||

    I wonder if Conan would use Title IX to crush his enemies?

  • sarcasmic||

    The Title IX lamentations of the women would crush Conan.

  • D-Pizzle||

    Steel is not strong...Title IX is strong.

  • Ben of Houston||

    The only Title IX complaints should be ones concerning budgets and allocation of school resources, or discrimination in grading. There were rumors some old professors that would refuse to give women an "A" no matter their work. You know, school stuff.

    I do not know how "Title IX Investigation" became synonymous with "sexual assault".

  • The Last American Hero||

    It started with the words "Dear Colleague" and ended with "Sincerely, Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America."

  • DiegoF||

    In fairness it looks like the only real news at this point is the complaint itself. Everyone else seems to be ignoring the crazy bitch. I have no doubt someone will give it more attention than it deserves, which is none, but at that point it will become something to report. "The crazy bitches you will always have with you," as Our Lord once said.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    I had a high school science teacher who used to say, "No one knows how stupid you are until you open your mouth." That is a hidden benefit free speech: it can reveal who is worth listening to and who you can safely dismiss.

    It also seems like academia is close to being where the Chinese Red Guards were 50+ years ago. What started as a welcome and deliberate radicalization of students got completely out of control and started posing a threat to authority. At that point, the Red Guard students had to be purged. This professor, who seems to be an Asian woman who is teaching "wokefullness" is being put in a subservient position by a young radical overgrown toddler. That's a situation that needs to be put right before USC has a serious Red Guards problem.

  • ||

    Those crazy conservatives eh Robby? Just as bad.

    "....and another student wrote, "sterilize them" and "take away their babies at birth." It's not clear whether this student—a white female student—was serious about this;"

    /dead silence in class. Rufus alone in the corner laughing pounding the desk.

  • DiegoF||

    Rufus you know the Frenchies would do it to y'all in a heartbeat so stop with that shit

  • The Last American Hero||

    Was the student's last name Sanger?

  • Dillinger||

    sounds like a peach.

  • sgreffenius||

    If you want to police thought, you have to use all the methods at hand.

  • Dadlobby||

    Snowflake butthurt would be funny if not enforced by the threat of government violence (action) and also the mob rule mentality of a the PC shout down petition certainly soon to be followed by the morally superior mob protest. I'm thinking she is a women's studies major and is destined to pursue a career as a "compliance officer" for these vague laws which foster the absurd response to the slightest offense, even if unintended.

    We should bring back dueling, the possibility of being personally liable for your idiotic offense would certainly slow them down. "I'm offended madam and demand satisfaction" - get your pistol and second sweetheart!

  • Longtobefree||

    As the challenged party, she has choice of weapons - - - - - - - -
    Looks like she will choose lawsuits at dawn.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Here's how one University of Southern California student handled an awkward moment: She complained to the professor, filed a Title IX report when the professor declined to spend an entire class period litigating the matter, dropped the course entirely, and then launched a petition demanding that everyone who offended her be forced to undergo racial sensitivity training.

    That's just a straight shooter with upper management human resources department written all over xer.

  • Rossami||

    This should be easy to solve. Expel the student stupid enough to cite "critical race theory" and any professor that filled her head with such junk. Let the rest of the university get on the job of getting an education.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Not sure why it would be a racial issue... Or title ix.

    Dumb answers, and neither would increase access. It is likely the respondents think the same about all babies/mothers...

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The group had been asked to consider how to increase "the number of women of color who receive prenatal care," and another student wrote, "sterilize them" and "take away their babies at birth." It's not clear whether this student—a white female student—was serious about this; as Loring would later write in her petition to the college, "the white female student admitted she had written the comments and then deleted them, stating her group, which included her and two latinx women, did not 'agree' with the comments, but had offered them as a possible solution, as that was their understanding of the exercise."

    My brown skinned friend and his white skinned co-parent had their two daughters taken by Child Protective Services shortly after their births, because they could not afford the basics for themselves and their kids. The government also pays a fortune for "mental health services" for those two parents. I think this strategy is bat-shit crazy, but most of the drug users in "rehab", both the Blacks and the Whites, think that the real tragedy is their decision to not use birth control.

  • Window Companies WA||

    Yeah, that is indeed a very racially mixed group, but it does not matter which Indian tribe any of your native ancestors may have been.

  • Steven French||

    You should write a narrative essay about this situation. I would read it with a great pleasure!:)

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online