Northern Arizona U. prof. Heather Martel orders student to stop reading Bible *before* class

Mark Holden is a student at Northern Arizona University — a public, i.e., taxpayer-funded, university.
Holden is a Christian.
In February, Holden arrived early to a U.S. history class with at least five minutes to spare. So he took out his Bible to read, but was ordered by the instructor, Assistant Professor Heather Martel, to stop reading the Bible because she didn’t want him to “sit in front of her” with his Bible out.

Note: Dr. Heather Martel is an Assistant Professor of History (which means she likely is untenured) and an Associate Faculty of Women’s and Gender Studies at Northern Arizona University (NAU). She claims U.S./gender history as her specialty.

Holden refused. Martel reported him to her department chair Dr. Derek Heng. Holden was called into Heng’s office. Below is an audio recording of Holden’s meeting with Heng, provided to Campus Reform by Kevin Cavanaugh for Congress.

Here’s a transcript of the audio recording:

Dr. Heng: “So, I mean, so Prof. Martel says that she doesn’t want you sitting in front of her because you put, you know, a Bible out, right?”
Holden: “Uh huh.”
Heng: “So, um, I don’t know what dynamics is going on in the classroom. Um, I mean the real key, uh, is to make sure that, you know, the class is able to go on and that you are in the classroom. I think that’s really, sort of, my prerogative here right now.”
Holden: “So she doesn’t want me front because I have my Bible out.”
Heng: “No, I think she, I mean, well, why do you have you Bible out anyway?”
Holden: “I’m just reading before class.”
Heng: “OK”
Holden: “I mean, class isn’t even started yet. I’m reading my Bible.”
Heng: “Right. So, class is gonna start soon and … are we….”
Holden: “Ya, not for another five minutes.”
Heng: “OK. So, will you, will you, will you put your Bible away?”
Holden: “I always do, every day. And I read the Bible before class and I put it away before class starts.”
Heng: “OK. Well, let me get her out and then let’s see what we can do about it, OK?”
Holden: “Sure.”

In other words, although the student Mark Holden HAD DONE NOTHING WRONG, simply because Professor Heather Martel was bothered by seeing Holden reading the Bible, History Department Chair Professor Derek Heng asks the student to put his Bible away.
Anthony Gockowski reports for Campus Reform, April 27, 2017, that prior to the Bible incident in February, Martel had accused Holden of violating the university’s policy on disruptive classroom behavior when Holden challenged Martel’s views on cultural assimilation.
Holden told Campus Reform that he had questioned the matter of cultural assimilation by citing news reports about two Muslim immigrants who erected a sign declaring that the Koran gives them the right to commit rape.
In an email that Martel sent to Holden accusing him of disruptive classroom behavior, she claims Holden had interrupted the class multiple times and “made a scene,” only stopping after a classmate intervened. Martel wrote:

“Then you raised your hand for most of the rest of class. When I acknowledged that I saw your hand but stated we would be hearing from your classmates instead, as you had already had your input, you said in a loud voice: ‘You work for me. I pay your salary.’”

Martel then sent out a second email about the altercation, not just to Holden but to the entire class, outlining “steps to re-instate civility in the classroom” and declaring emphatically that “hate speech” would not be tolerated.
Holden told Campus Reform that he eventually withdrew from Martel’s class. Holden sees the Bible incident as Martel’s and Northern Arizona University’s restriction of his free speech, calling it “a systemic problem, not just at this university, but across the United States” because most college professors are “pushing an ideology on students and any opposition to this is refuted and slashed.” While there may be students “who want to speak up,” they don’t “feel that they can because of fear about their grades.” And it’s not just students. Conservative-leaning professors face similar concerns in relation to keeping their jobs.
Casey Mattox, Senior Counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom, tells Campus Reform that “public universities are supposed to serve as a marketplace of ideas, and Christian students are not second class citizens on their tax-funded campuses. By singling out a student’s religious views for discriminatory treatment a professor not only violates the First Amendment, but also disserves the very purpose of a university.”
Campus Reform contacted both Martel and Heng, offering them the opportunity to address Holden’s characterization of the events and offer their own perspectives, but neither responded in time for publication.
Here’s contact information for Northern Arizona University (NAU):

  • Dr. Heather Martel, Assistant Professor of History: Email: Heather.Martel@nau.edu; phone 928-523-6993
  • Dr. Derek Heng, Chair of History Dept.: Email: Derek.Heng@nau.edu; phone 928-523-5685
  • Dr. Rita Hartung Cheng, President, ASU: Email: President@nau.edu; phone 928-523-3232

Northern Arizona University is a hotbed of leftwing tyrannical professors. See “Gender Pronoun Tyranny: Professor downgrades student’s paper for using the world ‘mankind’“.
See also:

UPDATE:

A reader received this automated reply when he emailed Prof. Heather Martel, who is claiming victimhood:

This email account is being trolled as a part of a political campaign to harass and intimidate university professors. To my colleagues, students, and friends, I am sorry for the inconvenience. If you are trying to reach me for legitimate NAU business, please use another method for reaching me.

If you are reaching out to me with the intent to harass and intimidate me, cease and desist. The story in the news is a lie. The emails and voicemails I am receiving are deluded, cruel, and disgusting. I will not be reading or listening to them. They will be reviewed by law enforcement officials.

“The story of the news is a lie”?
We have the audio recording of Martel’s department chair Prof. Derek Heng saying that “Prof. Martel says that she doesn’t want you [student Mark Holden] sitting in front of her because you put, you know, a Bible out”. Let’s see Martel call that a lie!
~Eowyn

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Glenn47
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Glenn47

I think her gender history speciality says it all about her. The Bible most likely made her uncomfortable.
She can accuse and claim disruption all she wants, but he was reading before class. I didn’t see anywhere how other students felt about it.
She is the perfect example of why tenure should be stopped. I bet a whole lot of this propaganda crap would slow down.

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Gary Jones
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Gary Jones

Glenn47, tenure in colleges across has largely been eliminated to save
money and intimidate instructors. Most community college instructors
have incomes so low they are eligible for food stamps. For extensive
details on the decimation of higher education, see the blogs of
Professor Doom.

Maryaha
Guest

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
This teacher can’t stand to be in the presence of the Word of God because it is too painful. If Mr. Holden had been reading the Koran, the teacher wouldn’t mind at all, because it has NO such power.

Lana
Guest
Lana

Another Lesbiatic who thinks that the world should conform to her will so she can feel good about herself.

TPR
Guest
TPR

“Heather” looks more like a “Heath.” Cut the hair & grow a beard & act like a real man instead of a tranny sissy overly-sensitive jerk. Good for Holden for not caving in. He and every Christian student attending “public universities … on their tax-funded campuses…” should study up regarding their First Amendment rights well before entering their first semester. Take notes, keep them handy. When any commie teacher/professor pulls any similar stunt, be ready, quote them verbatim from the Constitution/Bill of Rights, AND throw in a pertinent Scripture as well. The Lord Jesus Christ refuted the Devil three times… Read more »

Hadenoughalready
Guest

But the qur’an would be fine, right? Here’s 5 abbreviated words I’d tell that teaching imposter – GFUYS!

Dan
Guest
Dan

I just read Heather’s academic bio, which reads like it came from one of those hilarious postmodernist essay generators stringing together fatuous cliches and memes into essentially fact-free gibberish. If you look at the titles of her published works it becomes embarrassingly obvious that for Heather we cannot really know anything about history or even the natural sciences except through the feminist conceptual schemes of female bodily functions, homoeroticism, rape, nakedness, queer studies–there’s even more such insanity where this comes from. She also claims this sort of mental illness qualifies her to teach, among her many areas of expertise, the… Read more »

Steven Broiles
Member

Heather Martel is no Charles Martel. And Holden is correct, the students pay the salaries of the professors. And Holden should have told Heng, in so many words, to DROP DEAD. The tyranny is creeping up upon us all with the estimations and chalk lines of a tailor: They have sized us up, taken their measurements and drawn the cut lines. The tailor cannot be fired, only killed, with a stake through its heart, because it is the Vampire. With the Catholic Church out of the Way as a moral force, given what has happened since the death of Pius… Read more »

D.W. Casto
Guest
D.W. Casto

No one in America, Christian or any other faith, should deliberately and intentionally force their belief or their written scriptures onto another person in such a manner as to make them feel uncomfortable, and certainly not with arrogant or Taunting intent.

vlad
Guest
vlad

How did he force his belief? It does not sound like he talked about Jesus or God at all, just read the Bible. How do you “force…written scriptures” onto another person? That does not make sense. He was reading before class, and she inserted herself into something none of her business. What part was arrogant or taunting? Not sure I read the same article.

daveyone1
Guest
CP
Guest
CP
Zorro
Guest
Zorro

The student had every right to read his Bible. The department chair was a babbling, ineffectual tool. “Professor” Heather needs to be reeducated asap.

DCG
Admin

The professor is a master at playing the victim card. Such bullchit.

Glenn47
Guest
Glenn47

So, she attacks a student’s rights and when he calls her on it, suddenly she is a victim with all the negativity being tossed at her. Makes one wonder if the snowflake regime also includes professors?

Lola
Guest
Lola

This is so typical: college campus liberals feeling threatened by the mere presence of a white Christian male. By reading her curriculum vitae, it is more than clear that she hates Christianity and wants to demonize it. Even by her publications this is easy to surmise. It is she, based on her background, that has prejudicial feelings–this is so obvious, https://nau.edu/uploadedFiles/Academic/CAL/History/Faculty-Staff/Vita%20Atlantic%20Martel%202010.pdf As I have stated before on this post, my family member was asked to resign from attendance at an Arizona university after he gave a speech in class that his Christianity influenced his decision to enter the nursing profession.… Read more »

Wanttopraisehim
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Wanttopraisehim

I emailed Martel
And Heng we shall see what happens with my email as well. Just sent it a couple
Minutes ago . 11/11/17 @ 8:37am