Community Education

A University of Louisville student who distributed anti-gay literature to an LGBTQ studies class cannot return there, following a no-contact order by the Dean of Students Office. Administrators originally did not bar the unidentified student from returning.

The student reportedly placed pamphlets published by a Christian group called Living Waters Publications on the desks of an introductory class taught by Kaila Story, then stood outside the classroom. Story is the cohost of Louisville Public Media’s Strange Fruit podcast. The incident took place in late January.

According to the University’s Title IX brochure, a no-contact order is “a university directive to cease and desist from any intentional contact, direct or indirect, with a designated person(s).”

U of L spokesman John Karman confirmed the issuance of the no-contact order on Thursday evening. He also said a University police officer would be posted outside the class, which meets twice a week, for the rest of the semester. He was not immediately able to say what penalty, if any, there would be for violating the order.

In an emailed statement earlier this week, Karman said University administrators had met with the student and “have been assured that his intention was only to provide information rather than to intimidate.”

But not everyone on campus agreed with that assessment.

Last week, Story tweeted about the “fear that me and my students are feeling right now.”

And Ricky Jones, the chair of Pan-African Studies at U of L, wrote an opinion piece in the Courier Journal saying the incident created a “dangerous situation” on campus. He implored University leadership to square that with its stated commitment to diversity.

In an email to students last week obtained by WFPL News, U of L president Neeli Bendapudi wrote, “UofL’s commitment to diversity is strong and abiding. I look forward to sharing with the class the steps we have taken and are taking to foster a positive learning environment.”

Both Story and Jones celebrated the no-contact order in social media posts on Thursday.

“After initially seeing it as a non-starter, the university has issued a no-contact order the student who pamphleted @DoctressStory‘s class. He is not to return to the class! This is all we wanted!” Jones tweeted.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.