A lecturer from Bengaluru’s St Joseph College was terminated from his service, allegedly on account of his sexual orientation. Ashly Tellis, a contract lecturer, claimed that he was fired from the college for being gay, reported The New Indian Express.
According to Tellis, he was fired without being given any notice. He was summoned to the principal’s office while conducting a lecture for second year BCom students.
Ashly TellisAs soon as I was summoned, I went to the principal’s office. In the office, the principal told me that the students were disturbed by my ‘personal opinions’. Soon after, he informed me that the management of the institute had asked him to remove me and I was relieved immediately.
Tellis alleged that the Catholic Institute’s management was against him because of his homosexuality.
In the classroom, I used to discuss everything with the students. Sometimes, it also included issues related to different sexual orientations.
He said that St Joseph’s College had denied him employment for the same reason a few years ago.
However, as soon as this report was made public, a student took to Facebook to rubbish Tellis’ claims.
Prithvi Chandavarkar, a student of the English department at St Joseph’s, claimed that Tellis was in fact brash and used “pitiable language” with his students.
The English Department and the Institution of St Joseph’s, regularly organise talks by notable transgender people like Akkai Padmashali and have other openly gay and qualified individuals who are social and legal activists, lecture and conduct talks on the college premises.
He added that he was asked to leave because of how he conducted himself.
The termination of the former teacher in question, was strictly not on grounds of homosexuality, but rather because of the way the said person conducted himself, treated other individuals who are employed in the institution, and the way he behaved with students, much younger than him in terms of age.
Speaking to The Quint, Chandravarkar said:
He would use unparliamentary language in class... he talked about students’ personal and sex lives. The parents directly complained to the Provincial and administration about his behaviour since their children were distressed. The Principal found him dissenting against the college on top of the complaints.
Another student from St Joseph’s also said Tellis was vocal against the administration and had several run-ins with the authorities.
The college principal has denied Tellis’ allegations, calling his reasoning baseless, saying the termination had nothing to do with his sexual orientation.
This faculty member was not following the rules of the contract and was not teaching what he was supposed to. Students, who were disturbed by it, complained to us in batches. After consulting our legal adviser, we decided to remove him.