It would be nice to believe that the unjust and unfounded inquisition experienced by Teaching Assistant Lindsay Shepherd at Wilfrid Laurier University was an isolated and bizarre anomaly.
Unfortunately, her experience appears to have exposed but the tip of a poisonous ideology now rampant in all of Ontario’s educational institutions. It is an ideology that holds unsubstantiated opinions and feelings as superior to facts and truth.
Just ask our guests Dave Plumb and Paul McKeever, who both have witnessed this phenomenon first hand – though from differing perspectives.
Like Lindsay Shepherd, Dave Plumb was an educational instructor / teacher who found his job threatened by an anonymous complaint. Like Lindsay Shepherd, Dave was being held accountable for the “feelings” of the unidentified complainant while simultaneously being denied any way of directly addressing the complainant’s concerns.
Unlike Lindsay Shepherd however, Dave did not record his encounter with his supervisor, and subsequently lost his teaching job at London Ontario’s Fanshawe College. Dave’s story makes one thing clear – that the poisoned teaching environment infecting our universities has also infected our colleges.
But wait. It gets worse.
As an experienced employment lawyer in the province of Ontario, Paul McKeever offers some alarming advice: be sure to audio- or video-record all of your encounters involving any employer-employee relationship disputes.
His warning follows a frightening observation derived from his own experience. Despite the many very serious and very legitimate complaints of harassment on the job, the startling reality is that false complaints are now the norm and the majority.
Thus, in the systemic absence of proper investigations or concern with the facts of a given case, many honest and innocent people are finding themselves victimized by false complaints filed for a myriad of reasons that have little or nothing to do with the complaint itself.
Forced into a corner by Ontario law, feelings and opinions of the complainant are what employers are most concerned with resolving, and very little concern is given to whether or not those opinions have any merit in reality.
Whether right or wrong, opinions are never truth. Opinions may reflect truth, falsehoods, and/or any mixture of the two. But the truth can never be determined in a “he-said-she-said” world of subjective opinions where facts don’t matter.
And without truth, there can never be justice.
Truth has many interpretations. What’s not open to interpretation is this: only when facts trump opinion, can the truth surface in a way that is Just Right.