Old Dominion University has placed Allyn Walker, a transgender assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, on administrative leave following the professor’s advocacy for the destigmatization of pedophilia.
Walker sparked outcry after arguing that the term pedophile should be replaced by the euphemism “minor attracted persons” or “MAP” in a talk with the Prostasia Foundation, a pedophile advocacy group that appears to have worked alongside and platformed a registered sex offender on at least one occasion.
Walker is also the author of a book entitled “A Long Dark Shadow: Minor Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity.”
Originally, Old Dominion University spoke out in support of Walker, releasing a statement defending the assistant professor. That statement began by saying “An academic community plays a valuable role in the quest for knowledge. A vital part of this is being willing to consider scientific and other empirical data that may involve controversial issues and perspectives.” Old Dominion University even appeared to hide comments on Twitter that criticized the school.
On Tuesday, the university released a new statement concerning the situation, writing “Old Dominion University has placed Dr. Allyn Walker on administrative leave, effective immediately, from their position as assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice.”
The statement goes on to say that “the controversy over Dr. Walker’s research has disrupted the campus and community environment and is interfering with the institution’s mission of teaching and learning.”
A quote from President Brian O. Hemphill was also included, saying “child sexual abuse is morally wrong and has no place in our society,” followed by a note that the decision to put Walker on leave was intended to “maintain a safe and conducive learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff.”
It has yet to be seen whether or not Walker will retain the same position at Old Dominion University, or whether the university will follow yesterday’s decision with further penalties for pushing to destigmatize pedophilia.