If the road to voluntarily losing your job was ever truly paved, I can be sure Paul Derengowski, former Tarrant County College professor, would be responsible for the blue prints.
Derengowski (wow, that’s a mouthful) resigned from his position only a short time after two Muslim students accused him of creating a hostile environment in November. It was concluded Jan. 23 in a lengthy investigation that he did in fact create one.
No one except the students in class and Mr. Derengowski himself can truly say what was said in the lecture that put the students off. However, these students say they were made to feel uncomfortable when told they would be required to visit Derengowski’s personal website, where he called Islam a cult. Now, we all know religion is a taboo subject when it comes to the classroom. I can’t even remember how many times we all tried to convince my biology teacher in high school to tell us what he believed in (if anything at all). Even today, new teachers are trained in some districts to remain completely unbiased when it comes to religion, and if at all possible, not mention it at all.
However, I believe a college environment should be a place where we can say whatever we feel or think, without fear of losing our jobs. There is of course some value to discussing such sensitive topics with a little more tact. But, in the end, does it really matter what people like this professor believe, if you in fact believe in something else? No. Continuously, we’ve been taught as adults in a college environment to try and remedy the situation first among the parties involved, before fleeing to higher-ups to seemingly burn someone at the stake.
Was Derengowski smart in this situation? Probably not. In fact, his choice to resign makes him look guilty as sin (pun intended). Chalk it up to a bad case of the dumb-dumbs, in which common sense and tact is completely lacking. Life goes on. A new professor will roll in, and all will soon be calm again. Woo-sah people. Woo-sah!