Howard University: Professor Subjected to 504-Day Investigation and Sanctions for Hypothetical Test Question Involving Waxing

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Howard University

On May 4, 2017, Howard University law professor Reginald Robinson was deemed responsible for sexual harassment after two students complained about a test question involving a Brazilian wax and an upset client. After a 504-day investigation, administrators determined that Robinson would be required to undergo mandatory sensitivity training, prior administrative review of future test questions, and classroom observation. Robinson also received a stern warning that any further “violations” of the university’s Title IX policies may result in his termination. FIRE wrote to Howard on June 16 demanding that Robinson’s sanctions be removed. Howard did not respond by the June 30 deadline.

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  • Law professor still subject to sanctions from Howard University for Brazilian wax hypothetical on quiz

    December 19, 2017

    Back in June, FIRE wrote to Howard University after it punished law professor Reginald Robinson for including on a quiz a question involving a client receiving a Brazilian wax. We reported in July that a tentative agreement between Robinson and the university had been reached. Unfortunately, that tentative agreement fell through, and the case remains unresolved, leaving Robinson’s and other Howard professors’ academic freedom and free speech rights at risk. We wrote over the summer: During a September 2015 class, a female student challenged a test question’s premise that a person could sleep through a Brazilian wax. After a complaint […]

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  • BREAKING: Howard University professor reports settlement in Brazilian wax case

    July 14, 2017

    Howard University has reached a tentative agreement with the law professor it found responsible for sexual harassment over a test question about a hypothetical Brazilian wax. This afternoon, professor Reginald Robinson’s attorney, Gaillard T. Hunt, released the following statement: We have discussed the case with the University and we believe we have reached a mutually satisfactory solution. Professor Robinson regrets if anyone was offended by the test question. FIRE reported on the case last week, which we noted at the time was part of a larger pattern of colleges and universities punishing constitutionally protected expression under the guise of addressing […]

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  • Ouch! Brazilian wax test question nets Howard University professor a 504-day Title IX investigation, sanctions

    July 6, 2017

    Case is part of a larger pattern of colleges and universities punishing constitutionally protected expression under the guise of addressing sexual harassment. WASHINGTON, July 6, 2017 — A test question about hot wax has landed one Howard University professor in hot water with Title IX investigators. On May 4, law professor Reginald Robinson was deemed responsible for sexual harassment after two students complained about a test question involving a Brazilian wax and an upset client. After a 504-day investigation, administrators determined that Robinson would be required to undergo mandatory sensitivity training, prior administrative review of future test questions, and classroom […]

    » Read More