Dalhousie dentistry class reflects on Facebook scandal after restorative justice
In a report released today, school says students can graduate if they meet clinical standards
All four parties who took part in a restorative justice program after a Facebook scandal rocked the faculty of dentistry at Dalhousie University in Halifax say they're satisfied with the outcome, according to a letter sent to CBC.
Fourth-year students in the dentistry school discussed issues of misogyny and sexual harassment during a restorative justice process after a private Facebook group known as the Class of 2015 DDS Gentleman's Club was made public.
CBC News obtained screen shots of the group's sexually explicit posts in December.
We learned that saying sorry is too easy. Being sorry, we have come to see, is much harder.- Members of the Class of 2015 DDS Gentleman's Club
In one post, members were polled and asked, "Who would you hate f--k?" They were given two names to vote on.
The CBC's Information Morning received a copy of the letter from the parties who took part in that process:
- The men who posted to Facebook.
- Some of the women of the class.
- University faculty and administration.
- The Nova Scotia Dental Association.
- Community participants.
A final report released by the school on Friday said the students have met the professionalism standards required to graduate.
Dalhousie president Richard Florizone said at a news conference that he doesn't yet know exactly how many of the 13 men will walk across the stage at the graduation ceremony. He said the members won't have to add their names to the convocation guide.
In total, 29 (14 women and 15 men) of the 38 people in the core fourth-year dentistry class took part in the restorative justice program.
"We did not create these issues, but we have come to understand our parts in perpetuating and tolerating them within our relationships and community," reads the letter. "Having endured such a public fracturing of our class community and many of our personal relationships, our focus throughout the process has not been to return to normal but to create a new 'normal' for the future."
From the men:
The men in the Facebook group say they are thankful for participating in the restorative justice program.
"We learned that saying sorry is too easy. Being sorry, we have come to see, is much harder," reads their section of the letter.
The DDS men said they won't reveal their names,
"The truth is, none of the Facebook group members are innocent but nor are we monsters."
They also wrote to their future patients: "We deeply regret if this has made even one person more reluctant or afraid to access the oral health care they need and deserve."
From the women:
The women in the class wrote that they want to graduate alongside their male classmates, and never wanted to see the 13 expelled.
The women said they knew about the group, but didn't think they were the targets until it became news.
"We are a part of a generation in which inappropriate sexualization is more common and widespread than ever before and we have become used to this. "
They write that they accept their classmates' apologies.
"More than that, though, we have seen the men learn why they are sorry and what that requires of them," they wrote.