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School apologizes for scolding TA over Jordan Peterson video

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Campus Reform
November 22, 2017

Wilfrid Laurier University officials have apologized to the teaching assistant who was scolded by her supervisor for showing a video featuring University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson.

As previously reported by Campus Reform, educator Lindsay Shepherd told various media outlets that she was branded “transphobic” and condemned by her supervisor, Nathan Rambukkana, for what he deemed the equivalent of “neutrally playing a speech by Hitler.”

“Perhaps instead of the route I took I should have added further discussion in lecture, or supplementary readings,” Rambukkana wrote in an official apology to Shepherd. “But instead I tried to make a point about the need to contextualize difficult material, and drew on the example of playing a speech by Hitler to do it.”

“This was, obviously, a poorly chosen example, he continued. “I meant to use it to drive home a point about context by saying here was material that would definitely need to be contextualized rather than presented neutrally, and instead I implied that Dr. Peterson is like Hitler, which is untrue and was never my intention.”

Alongside a personal apology to the TA, the school also published an additional statement of apologyfrom Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy, reaffirming the school’s commitment to the “principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression.”

“I’m writing to make an apology on behalf of the university,” the statement read. “Through the media, we have now had the opportunity to hear the full recording of the meeting that took place at Wilfrid Laurier University.

“After listening to this recording, an apology is in order,” MacLatchy acknowledged. “The conversation I heard does not reflect the values and practices to which Laurier aspires. I am sorry it occurred in the way that it did and I regret the impact it had on Lindsay Shepherd.”

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The university also reported that the administration “has engaged an independent party to assess the facts of the matter including a review of related processes going forward.”

According to the statement, the school has also launched a task force “to delve into these issues,” but did not immediately offer more details on the matter.

This article was posted: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at 8:05 am

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