Leftist Laurier Professor and President Apologize to Lindsay Shepherd After Public Outrage
The president of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., has apologized for how faculty handled complaints made against teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd after she showed a controversial video in a communications tutorial class.
Laurier president and vice-chancellor Deborah MacLatchy apologized to Shepherd on Tuesday after media outlets carried the full audio of a conversation between her, her supervising professor Dr. Nathan Rambukkana as well as another professor, Herbert Pimlott, and the manager of Gendered Violence Prevention and Support, Adria Joel. Shepherd recorded the conversation in secret. "After listening to this recording, an apology is in order," MacLatchy wrote.
"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."
MacLatchy said she also planned to apologize to Shepherd in person.
Sanctioned for video
Shepherd was sanctioned by Rambukkana after screening an episode of the TVOntario current affairs program The Agenda, which showed a debate between two University of Toronto instructors — controversial psychology professor Jordan Peterson and Nicholas Matte, a lecturer in the sexual diversity studies program.
Peterson is known for being outspoken on issues, including his views on genderless pronouns.
Rambukkana told Shepherd showing the video without denouncing Peterson's views was like "neutrally playing a speech by Hitler."
Shepherd was told one or more students complained about the video. Shepherd told CBC News she told students it's important to listen to all sides before you form an opinion on any issue.
"I very clearly stated, watching debates like these are so important for getting yourself out of speech bubbles," Shepherd told CBC News last week.
"This was on TVO," she added; a public broadcaster known for educational programming. "It's crazy to me that it can't be shown in a classroom with adults."