TCC Disputes That Professor Was Forced Out For His Beliefs

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A Tarrant County College professor alleges he was forced to resign for his beliefs, while school officials say they received complaints that he used his classroom as an aggressive pulpit.

Ginger Ruiz and Sarah Lara met in their world religion class at Tarrant County College in Arlington. The two wanted to broaden their minds.

“I wanted an academic view of the different religions of the world,” says Ruiz from Arlington.

Her classmate Lara signed up for the class for similar reasons, saying, “To me, religion defines a person. That’s why I took this class to learn other people’s belief.”

But the students never knew those beliefs would divide their classroom and lead to their professor leaving his job.

“We have open forum every class, I don’t care what you are,” said Paul Derengowski, who taught at TCC for three and a half years. “I let these students know I’m approaching this from a Christian world view.”

Two weeks ago a discussion in class turned to Islam.

It got heated, he says, when two Muslim students disagreed with his teachings on the religion.

The students walked out and later filed a complaint with the college.

Derengowski says he met with administrators, but decided to resign after the meeting.

“I’m not there to proselytize to anybody but I’m going to give my perspective which is something they don’t want me to do,” said Derengowski.

He is a staunch defender of the Christian faith and runs a website called the Christian Apologetics Project.

The website lists Islam as well as Mormonism as cults.

“I set up the blog to defend the Christian faith,” Derengowski said.

He also wrote in a blog entry in 2009 criticizing homeland security.

In the blog Derengowski says police should profile Muslims.

When asked if all Muslims should be profiled he replied affirmatively, “because their actions proceed them. Why are we sitting here right now? It’s not because the Buddhist did what they did.  It’s not because of the Hindus, the Janes, the Sikh’s.”

He also believes mosques should be under 24/7 surveillance.

One of his students – who is Muslim but didn’t want to be on camera – emailed to say when it was time to learn about Islam that Derengowski, “…seemed to be choosy about what he was teaching and left out a lot of important points.  He taught it with his own perspective and it was very obvious that he felt some resentment towards the religion.”

She goes on to say, “I am a proud American and I have the right, just as any other student in the classroom, to learn what is deserved to be taught, not based off one’s hateful opinions. And certainly, have the utmost right to not feel uncomfortable sitting in a classroom which my tax dollars pay for.”

Derengowski’s personal webpage is on the syllabus for the class.

It’s been listed there for three and a half years; that’s why he says he’s surprised that now the college has a problem with it.

He was told by TCC that his syllabus was inappropriate that his website is offensive and that his method of teaching is not neutral.

TCC wouldn’t comment any further other than telling us they’re looking into concerns.

“For me it’s like the school failed to educate me,” Lara said.

Derengowski now wants his job back. Some of his students want him back too.

“I didn’t get to finish the course I registered for and I wanted to learn about Islam,” said Ruiz.

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  • Rooster

    I had college teachers in the ’60s ridicule my Christian faith—several times in a freshman English class every Christian in the class was ridiculed, but we didn’t run whining to the administration. 40 years later, Christians are under attack, but it is much more aggressive. I notice that Muslims don’t necessarily liked to be “outed.” It might be because they cannot honestly defend the Qur’an’s call to murder infidels if they will not be converted. I would simply ask these two American Muslims if they hold Sharia Law above Constitutional law. If they are real Muslims and would answer honestly, they would answer in the affirmative. However, the Qur’an also says that Muslims may lie and should lie to infidels if it furthers the cause of Islam. Once again, a teacher is the victim of political correctness.

    • Kazi Murtaza

      Where in the Qur’an does it say that exaxctly?

      • Rooster

        Between political correctness and ignorance, we are blinded to the truth. If you have no familiarity with the Qur’an, the Sunnah, Hadith and Sira—and which sources are used by which Islamic sects; if you do not know what is written there; if you have never researched Islam from an objective point of view, why are you here commenting. If you do not know where these statements are made in the Qur’an—or you do not know how to research it, don’t think I’m going to make up for your laziness. It’s not rocket science. Now go do your homework.

      • Rusty

        So, Rooster doesn’t know where it is and can’t back up his statements.

        Thanks for establishing that, Rooster.

      • Rooster

        No. You’re just lazy. I spent the time and did the work. I am not obligated to post dozens of pages of text just to satisfy someone who has already made their mind. Those who genuinely want to know the truth will do the work—especially since it is readily available online, at any library and is common knowledge to anyone who has ever spent 15 minutes researching the subject. Slandering me proves nothing. I am not obligated to entertain fools. But since your whining is so pitiful, I’ll give you the the place to start:

    • There is No God

      I went to college in the deep south in the 70s and I spent the entire time dodging the christian cult on campus. They would hand me bibles, invite me to their clubs, and said they would pray for me. After a while I told them I was christian and then they would ask me to bible study so that didn’t work. Honestly christians are so brained washed that they must have some kind of quota to meet if they don’t get some followers. At least the muslims don’t give a hoot if you become one or not.

      • Rooster

        “At least the muslims don’t give a hoot if you become one or not.”

        A bold lie or incredible naivete! Islam’s goal is to subjugate the entire earth under Sharia Law, if not by peaceful means, then by war, terrorism and insinuating themselves into other cultures. They have been waging war since Muhammad founded Islam and they have no intention of stopping. Their first priority is to destroy Israel and anyone who supports or makes an alliance with Israel. They are presently infiltrating cities all over the United States and setting up enclaves where only Sharia Law is recognized. They have already made inroads into our own judicial system.

        Your ignorance is profound.

      • 2sister

        First, God is real. Second. true Christianity is not a cult.

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  • Donna R.

    Why is it that Americans that have a strong Christian world view are attacked by the very culture that declared war on us Nov.11? This article was very slanted toward anti-christian sentiment. This is very disappointing to our family. We choose to watch 11 news because in the past you have been supportive of Christian ideas and beliefs. Tarrant County College Administration seems to be acting out of fear of Muslim retaliation. It is imperative that all schools and American media allow all persons the right to their faith traditions and beliefs without showing partiality and descrimiation towards students, teachers, administration or news casters. All Americans are intitled to their opinions biasas, and constitutional rights. This professor should not have been forced to resign.

    • There is No God

      I went to a state university and I hated professors like him. They would spend the entire semester trying to convert you to their christian faith, their political party, or made you feel bad in back handed way for being a certain color or from a certain country. Christians have this cult like mentality that they have to convert you or they are failures. I applaud TCC for standing up for the students who came to learn about ALL RELIGIONS!!!

      • Gumby Rules

        By your previous posts “there is” you seem like you hate just about everybody except mudslimes.

      • 2sister

        Christianity is not a cult. It is also not a political party. I want people to be saved, because I care about their souls and them. I’m not a failure is someone doesn’t believe in God or Jesus. My only responsibility is to take the Gospel to others. I am not responsible if they reject the message.

  • TCC Disputes That Professor He Was Forced Out For His Beliefs « Fort Worth News Feeds

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  • PlanoGuy

    This was the college administration’s fault. Only a person who is complete impartial in the devisions of religion is capable of teaching religion in the classroom. This man is not impartial.

    • PlanoGuy

      oops…divisions not devisions

    • Juan Meden

      No one is impartial in the classroom. Everyone has a bias. You can either admit your bias or hide it, but you cannot teach without it. The question should not be whether professors have a bias, but rather whether they are open to opposing points of view, are able to distinguish between fact and supposition, and are willing to consider rational arguments to the contrary. It is not the biased that pose a threat (since we are all biased), it is the coercive, intolerant, dishonest, and irrational, who pose the true threat.

  • Scared of the white man

    Ut oh all this guy is missing is his little KKK hood.

    • 2sister

      Without knowing the guy, we can’t know that he hates or dislikes people based on their race.

  • Gumby Rules

    “TCC Disputes That Professor He Was Forced Out For His Beliefs”

    Did anyone really read this?

  • Craig T

    Another member of the xtian taliban exposed.

  • Scared of the white man

    Anyone that wants a church or mosque watched by the government reeks of those underbelly throwover the government Tim McVey like groups. Better check his garage or storage for a stash of guns and other goodies.

  • texasmom

    FREEDOM OF SPEACH! Think about it people, he has rights too.

    • Kazi Murtaza

      Well, ummm he is a TEACHER, teaching WORLD RELIGIONS. He HAS to be neutral. If he feels a certain way about Muslims, thats fine. He can talk about it on his own time, not when HE IS TEACHING. Freedom of speech is not to be misused or misunderstood. I have freedom of speech too. But I will practice those rights to tell you how and what I feel abaout you.

      • Chris

        You are incorrect. The instructor does not need to be neutral. He has the freedom to espouse his views in class even if they are unpopular and controversial. This is what academics call “freedom of inquiry” or “academic freedom.” (This is not a legal right, but it is an accepted practice within the academic community.)

        Keep in mind, we are talking about higher education. Secondary and lower levels of education are a different ball game.

      • Kazi Murtaza


  • texasmom

    oop’s speech not speach. lol

    • Kazi Murtaza

      You are right. It is speech. But you still don’t get the point, do you?

  • Chris

    I am not sure what went on behind closed doors, but I do know he published a long letter attacking the two students while naming them on his website. That’s rather unprofessional, and he should not be rehired.

    • Lynn Shea

      Did you read the long letter? He did so only after one of the students sent out an email defaming his character and the college refused to act and forced him into resigning by attacking his teaching methods!

      • Chris

        That is irrelevant. As a professional educator, he should be publishing attacks on students. It’s possible to defend oneself without attacking the other person. And there was absolutely no need to publish the students names.

  • Chris

    I also neglected to mention something else. He could be opening up TCC to a lawsuit under FERPA because he posted her quiz grade on his website.

  • Rusty

    This guy obviously has a persecution complex, perhaps based in his religion and slanted view of the world. He seems to have a lot of anger and bigotry in the video.

    He seem to take the view that “Muslims were people who attacked the USA on 9/11; therefore, all Muslims are bad people and we should be suspicious of all of them.”

    That is classic scapegoating and bigotry: attributing actions or ideas of one part of the group to the entire group. Anyone who is that careless with his thinking doesn’t deserve to be a college professor.

    He is an embarrassment to the teaching profession.

  • Kevin

    I have taken a Western Religions class with a great professor who never gave a defense to any one religion. In fact, I asked him if he was any particular religion when the class was over because he was so good. He was actually a youth pastor at a small church, full gospel. In this class we studied Christianity (Catholic and Protestant), Judaism and Islam. There are several radicals and deviants in every religion, Al Qaeda, David Koresh, several Catholic priests, also Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert did some awful things, no one died, but they set a horrible example of what a Christian believes and how a Christian lives. I have read all of these comments and some of the comments were insightful. The fact is we have a professor defending one of three major western religions on a website and calling the others cults. TCC should have thought that maybe he shouldn’t be teaching this class. He can teach math, English, or science, but not a course about religions that he automatically condemns. These kids paid for an education- give them that, not an argument over what religion is right or wrong. “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

    • Kevin

      The students should not have been able to tell what the professors personal beliefs are becasue IT REALLY ISNT THE POINT OF THE CLASS.

  • Christine

    I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.

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