A group of students from the University of Texas at Austin showed up at a professor’s house last week and pounded on the windows and doors, accusing him of being a pedophile over his past research on the history of pederasty, or the sexual relationships between adult men and young boys.
Students with the group Fire The Abusers wore face masks, carried signs and shouted through bullhorns outside the home of professor Thomas K. Hubbard. A video posted by the group on Dec. 9 showed students pounding on the doors and windows and chanting, “Thomas Hubbard, come outside. Pedophile, you can’t hide,” and, “Thomas Hubbard, you’re a creep. Keep an eye out when you sleep.”
The protesters contend that Mr. Hubbard is a child molester because of his writings on pederasty, though he has not been found guilty of any sexual misconduct violations or crimes, the University of Texas at Austin told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday.
The university, which has defended Mr. Hubbard’s writings as free speech, has provided extra security for the professor amid a wave of protests that started this fall.
Mr. Hubbard told The Morning News that his work on pederasty focuses on the “romantic courtship of adolescent males” in Greek literature and art and that he personally believes in informed consent. His writings have been used by the North American Man/Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA, to promote pedophilia, though Mr. Hubbard has denied any involvement or support for the group.
“It is no more valid to conclude that scholars who work on sex offender policy and the relevance of cross-cultural evidence are themselves sex offenders than to think that advocates of drug decriminilization [sic] are themselves drug abusers or that advocates of criminal justice reform are criminals,” he said. “Such simplistic thinking chills serious debate and research on vital public policy issues.”
The 50-minute video posted by Fire The Abusers showed the protesters mocking police who arrived to assist Mr. Hubbard out of his home. Police told The Morning News that the protesters eventually dispersed without any arrests.
University spokeswoman Shilpa Bakre called the protesters’ actions “unacceptable.”
“Students have the right to contest specific ideas, but threatening anyone’s safety violates the law and university standards of conduct,” Ms. Bakre told The Morning News. “UTPD is concerned by these threats and actions against our faculty members and will work to protect them from harm.”