No formal complaint triggered Wilfrid Laurier teaching assistant's censure

The president of Wilfrid Laurier University, Deborah MacLatchy, says teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd was disciplined by supervisors despite no formal complaint being filed after playing a video clip in class featuring a controversial figure.

University official says staff members should not have met with Lindsay Shepherd

Lindsay Shepherd, as seen in her Twitter profile photo, came under fire from university officials after screening a video that featured controversial University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson. (Twitter)

The president of Wilfrid Laurier University says a teaching assistant who was chastised for airing a debate clip featuring a controversial figure was disciplined by her supervisors even though no formal complaint was filed.

Deborah MacLatchy said in a statement Monday an independent fact-finder hired by the school found that no formal complaint or informal concern was ever raised about the class taught by Lindsay Shepherd.

Shepherd was criticized by three Laurier staff members for failing to condemn the views of University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has refused to use gender-neutral pronouns. She screened a clip of a debate featuring the professor as part of a communications tutorial.

The university apologized to Shepherd last month after she discreetly recorded the meeting with the staff members and released it publicly.

MacLatchy said the staff members should not have met with Shepherd and compounded their error by a misapplication of existing university policies.

Shepherd had said she accepted and welcomed the apology, but felt it rang hollow coming on the heels of intensive media attention around her case.

University President Deborah MacLatchy says no formal complaint or informal concern was ever raised about the class taught by Shepherd. (Wilfrid Laurier University)