In this photo, LGBT activist attends a rally against Homophobia and Transphobia in Tbilisi, Georgia, May 17, 2017 REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

The sociology professor at the State University of New York Geneseo faced heat from the students after conducting a quiz in class on Oct. 18 that included terminologies and images that were offensive to the transgender community.

The incident occurred during Professor David Sorbello’s Sociology 100, “Introduction to Sociology,” a class that takes place once a week. According to the course syllabus, the students were required to hold discussions on gender and sexuality during the particular session and instead Sorbello handed them an unexpected quiz.

The quiz included 16 pictures including a slideshow of four headshots and the students were told and guess if the each of them was born a woman or became one through transgender transformation, local news outlet Livingston County News reported.

“Female or Shemale. Can you tell?” asked Sorbello, further inciting controversy by using a term that is often considered as derogatory by a transgender woman. The adjunct lecturer further joked that if one has one too many drinks, one may not be able to tell the difference and take the wrong woman home by mistake.

Outrage over the discriminatory quiz began when a picture taken during the class was shared on social media platforms Friday. According to Jillian Sternberg, a sophomore education major who was present in the class and was the one who took the picture, the purpose of the unexpected quiz was not made immediately clear to the students.

“The term was a bad choice,” said Sternberg. “It’s as if he was negating the existence of transgender people. It was like telling a transgender woman that she was not really a woman.”

After having concerns over the quiz, something that most of the students looked uncomfortable taking, Sternberg and two other students confronted Sorbello over the lesson behind the test, after the class was over. Defending his choice of course materials, Sorbello explained that he was attempting to educate the pupils about sexual dimorphism, a term that refers to the differences in physical appearances of males and females of the same species.

Following the outrage over the quiz on social media, Sorbello sent out a message to all his students stating that they are no longer allowed to click pictures of the slides used during the class or use any electronic devices when his class is ongoing. Sorbello further demanded, “an atmosphere of mutual respect regardless of topics being discussed or difference of opinion that might exist.”

The incident has been brought into the notice of Geneseo President Denise A. Battles, who has assured the students that university officials are currently gathering facts to determine “if and what action is warranted.”

The university “has a steadfast and uncompromising commitment to diversity and inclusivity,” Battles said. “We work diligently to sustain an inviting and supportive environment for people of all gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, races, religions and other identities.”

The Student Association also issued a statement claiming that “inclusivity is a primary value of the Student Association, as well as of the college. The Student Association does not tolerate acts of transphobia or other acts of intolerance… We are confident that this situation will be handled appropriately and justly, and will do what we can to advocate for the concerns students have regarding this situation.”

A petition was filed by the students on Geneseo Speaks, a website that lets students submit their own petitions to Geneseo’s Student Association on Oct 21. that demanded the removal of Sorbello from his post. The petition has already gathered more than its targeted number of signatures with 216 students supporting the plea.

“I just don't think a professor should be exposing students to that, especially like a male professor. Then male students are going to think that's OK, because it's a male figure,” Leliana McDermott, a transgender student advocate, told ABC affiliate 13 WHAM.