Lindsay Shepherd, the teaching assistant who rose to prominence after she was controversially disciplined for showing her class part of a TVOntario program on gender-neutral pronouns, is suing Wilfrid Laurier University, two professors, and a manager of the school’s Diversity and Equity Office.
She claims harassment, intentional infliction of nervous shock, negligence, and constructive dismissal. The “attacks” on her “have rendered her unemployable in academia,” she claims, and forced her to abandon her career plans for further graduate study and teaching.
The statement of claim, which seeks $3.6 million, was filed Tuesday in Waterloo, Ont., and as yet no statements of defence have been filed.
In addition to Laurier, Shepherd’s suit names Nathan Rambukkana, the professor of the course for which Shepherd was a teaching assistant; Herbert Pimlott, Masters program coordinator; and Adria Joel, acting manager of gender violence prevention in the Diversity and Equity Office. It describes them as “predators” who were “bullying” Shepherd in a disciplinary meeting, a recording of which Shepherd and later released publicly.
The three respondents did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In an emailed statement, the Laurier said it received notice of her lawsuit on Tuesday, which is described as “one perspective of a legal matter issued in pursuit of a financial claim.”
Since Shepherd first raised her initial concerns, the university has taken numerous measures to address the matter, including issuing an apology to her, the statement said.
“That apology still stands.”
The university also initiated an independent review, which found no wrong-doing on the part of Shepherd and offered recommendations to the university for next steps.