I have a kind of sticky situation that may or may not come up. I'm a graduate TA, and it came to my attention through a university caseworker that one of my students has been reported as being a part of a group that holds deeply offensive and possibly dangerous views. Let's say he believes that women do not deserve political rights and should be at all times under the control of men because they are inherently worthless. It's not the actual situation, but it's very close in terms of the political/offensive views and also the very visceral reaction that most people have to these types of beliefs.
This student has, thus far, been quiet and totally normal. This report is not yet confirmed, it is merely a suspicion. Therefore, this may be a situation that never develops.
However, if he should say something that exposes such a viewpoint in class, I'm wondering what the best way to handle it is in terms of being polite and respectful to the other students in class. If he should hold these beliefs, I'm not concerned in the least about being respectful to him. However, I do not want the other students to feel uncomfortable, so much as I can prevent it. To that end, I see three options available:
1) Redirect the conversation. This would be the least confrontational, assuming the student does not aggressively try to push his viewpoint. However, that would also make me feel like I had allowed such things to be said without making clear how inappropriate and unacceptable they were, and I do not want my other students to feel like I am either too timid to address them or that I may somehow implicitly agree with such ideas.
2) Firmly state how unacceptable such views are, and make it clear that any further attempt to restate them will result in him being kicked out of class. Again, assuming the student doesn't aggressively try to push his viewpoint, this would satisfy my need to address how unacceptable the comments were. But I can only imagine the atmosphere in the classroom after that - I don't want to subject my other students to a classroom environment that is tense or hostile. Confronting him and allowing him to stay in the classroom seems likely to make my other students very uncomfortable.
3) Kick him out of class immediately. While this satisfies both my need to stand against these views, and ensures a better classroom environment for my students, this is also the nuclear option. I know my professor will stand behind me if I go this route, but it seem the most likely to provoke a potentially dangerous confrontation with the student in front of the class and possibly turn this into a departmental fiasco. While I want to handle this correctly, I do not want to provoke the student into an outburst or aggressive argument in front of my class by kicking him out when he could potentially have been handled quietly by redirecting the conversation, KWIW?
So, my question: if you were a student in a class, and another student expressed views that were highly offensive, what would you prefer the teacher to do? Would you prefer it be dealt with quietly, or would you prefer a more assertive stance?