If you thought that apartheid was an ugly old relic of yester-decade South Africa, then just consider the stupefying case of Tyler Henderson.
Tyler enrolled at Hamilton’s McMaster University awhile back so that he could realize his goal of becoming a social worker. But from the get-go, things took a disturbing twist. Tyler claims that in a private conversation, associate professor Jennie Vengris allegedly told Tyler that she wasn’t comfortable with the idea of him speaking in her class.
Now, why would that be? Well, incredibly, Tyler says the professor had a problem with his race and his sex.
Evidently, having Tyler speaking in her class would presumably make the non-white male students uncomfortable because they likely had bad experiences dealing with people of Tyler’s race and sex — missing was any evidence to back up these outlandish claims.
Tyler says Vengris noted that if a white male were to speak in her class, that class would no longer be a “safe space” for others.
Justifiably miffed, Tyler reached out to the Equity and Inclusions office at McMaster for legal support. Tyler says office staffers agreed that he had been discriminated against and that he had a good case. But Tyler was also cautioned not to file a grievance given that he would be “socially crucified” — whatever that means (and no explanation was forthcoming).
Tyler kept fighting back.
On some occasions, he says the injustice he kept receiving made him raise his voice. This would not be tolerated. And so it was that Tyler was banned from taking further classes until he receives a psychiatric assessment.
We reached out to associate prof. Vengris and McMaster president David Farrar but did not receive a response.
However, Michelle Donovan with the media relations department issued the following response:
Thank you for your email. Here is a statement on behalf of the university:
McMaster has a comprehensive Discrimination and Harassment Policy which prohibits discrimination and/or harassment on all grounds in the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Policy applies equally to all members of the university community. No complaint under McMaster’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy has been filed by this former student but the option to do so in this case was never limited.
The policy can be found here Discrimination and Harassment Policy (mcmaster.ca) It clearly states that all members of the University community have a right to study, work, and live in an environment that is free of Discrimination and Harassment.
There is currently a case involving this former student being heard through the student appeal procedure. Tyler has provided no evidence that substantiates his claims.”