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Politically correct waiver sees Laurentian prof banned: report

File photo of a classroom.

A note from a professor to his students warning them of possibly offensive language has seen the teacher banned, but it’s not for his ideas.

The ban has nothing to do with being politically correct. Instead, it’s the waiver itself, according to a published report.

An official at Laurentian University told The Toronto Star that “a faculty member cannot ask a student to sign a document or memorandum of understanding as a condition to take his or her class.”

Robert Kerr added that “admission requirements are set by senate.”

Professor Michael Persinger, who teaches an introductory psychology class and has won an award for his teaching, said he’s been asking students to sign the waiver for 10 years. In that time, he’s never received complaints about the waiver itself, or its contents.

Persinger told The Star the waiver includes a warning for “rated R language,” and a list of 27 potentially offensive words.

Persinger also said the university keeps changing the reason why he’s been banned. At first, it was for the content. Then, it was for the waiver.

The Laurentian University Faculty Association is supporting Persinger.

The issue at Laurentian has echoes of a Toronto school’s policy to allow for offensive language, a move that was supported by students, faculty and staff.

The Harris Institute, a music production school with approximately 80 students, said in a statement last year it was taking a stand against seeping political correctness in its classrooms, hallways and meeting rooms.

Starting on March 21, students at the school will be required to acknowledge in writing the school’s Rules of Civility, which state that students, faculty and staff who are found to have “shouted down an opposing view” can be placed on probation or dismissed.



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