An Ontario university is apologizing to a teaching assistant after her superiors criticized her for airing a Clip of a debate on gender-neutral pronouns.
Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University, played a clip from TVO’s current affairs program “The Agenda” featuring a debate involving outspoken University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has refused to use gender pronouns other than he and she.
Shepherd says she played the clip to two communications tutorials in a bid to demonstrate that grammatical constructs such as gender-specific pronouns can have unexpected impacts on society.
After a student complaint, Shepherd said her superiors criticized her for failing to condemn Peterson’s views, noting that they told her a neutral approach was akin to remaining neutral on the views of Adolf Hitler.
Laurier President Deborah MacLatchy has issued a statement saying she heard recordings of the meeting between Shepherd and her bosses and says the meeting does not reflect the university’s values.
Shepherd’s immediate supervisor also issued an open letter apologizing to her, saying she was right to encourage discussion of opposing views but emphasizing the need to put controversial topics in context.
The Canadian Press
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