The Old Dominion University professor which drew criticism after comments that attempted to normalize the expression "people attracted to minors " resigned his post as assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at the school.
Brian O. Hemphill, president of the school, said in a statement Wednesday that the main priorities of the university are to foster a "caring, inclusive and supportive community " that respects academic freedom and will not shy away from matters controversial.
Flowers bloom outside Old Dominion University on March 12, 2020, in Norfolk, Virginia (Stephen M. Katz / The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
Earlier this month, Allyn Walker's research caught some media attention - and the professor received threats that law enforcement told the administration ors to be taken seriously, university officials said.
An online petition calling for Walker's impeachment has received nearly 15,000 signatures. He referred to Walker's use of the term, "people attracted to minors ", and said "(we) want to be clear that this is pedophilia and that this should not be viewed as a sexual preference. "
Walker said in an interview on November 8 that people can be attracted to children without taking action.
"It 's less stigmatizing than other terms like pedophile, " Walker said in the interview with the Prostasia Foundation. "A lot of people, when they hear the term pedophile, automatically assume it means a sex offender. And that's not true. And that leads to a lot of misconceptions about attractions towards minors. "
Anti-pedophilia graffiti is scrawled in chalk on the University campusOld Dominion there in Norfolk, Va. On Wednesday, November 24, 2021. (AP Photo / Ben Finley)
The walker said in the statement that his scholarship "aims to prevent child sexual abuse.
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"This research has been misinterpreted by some in the media and online, in part on the basis of my trans identity. As a result, multiple threats have been made against me and her. academic community in general. I would like to thank the Old Dominion University for giving me the opportunity to teach and conduct my research, and the ODU Public Safety Department for monitoring threats against me and the community, "Walker said in the statement.
Renard News Emma Colton and Associated Press contributed to thisreport