An Ontario university has made a controversial decision about its faculty. An Ontario professor who sexually assaulted a student is now allowed to teach again and the university students are completely outraged over the situation.
David Schimmelpenninck Van Der Oye was a professor at Brock University, which is located in St. Catharines, Ontario. He was accused of sexually assaulted his student and the university's internal investigation confirmed that allegations proved true, according to CBC News.
The school confirmed that the professor was found guilty of making unwanted sexual advances upon the student, such as inappropriate touching and sexual comments. He also tried to give alcohol to the student before his sexual misconduct.
Brock University announced today that Prof. David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye had the right to return to his teaching position at the university under the faculty's collective agreement and also because of a recent legal arbitration decision, according to the Huffington Post. Last month in December, an arbitrator's ruled that the professor would be allowed to return to teaching at the school.
Starting this semester, Schimmelpenninck Van Der Oye will be teaching a second-year, non-compulsory history class at the university, according to the Huffington Post. It will be his first time back in the classroom since March 2016, which is when the university had a three-month-long internal investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against the professor.
The university has responded about the professor's return to the classroom. "The university has put in place a set of conditions associated with Prof. Schimmelpenninck's return to the classroom," said Brock University. "He agreed to these conditions and has undertaken steps to meet them, including completing coaching for respectful workplace practices".
Students are completely outraged that the professor is allowed to teach again, especially after the sexual assault allegations were confirmed from the university's internal investigation. Several students have taken to social media to express their frustrations. Check them out below.
class listing, stating him as the professor and I would like to make it known that Brock University is allowing a sexual assaulter back on campus to teach classes. I’ve never been more ashamed to be apart of Brock University pic.twitter.com/kbejQMomRO— Elizabeth (@Ecosby121) January 3, 2019
I am disgusted by the re assigning of professor schimmelpennick @BrockUniversity. The message that this sends as a female student at your institution is that you don’t care about my safety or wellbeing. How many would love a teaching position and you rehire this? abhorrent.— Cass (@Cassidy_RM) January 2, 2019
Beside social media protests, there will be other forms of protest taking place at the university. Manchari Para is a recent Brock University graduate that is involved with OPRIG Brock, which is a social justice organization on campus. She told the Huffington Post that Brock alumni will be informing current students about the professor's actions. This is intended to help them choose whether or not to take his course.
"A lot of people are angry — personally I am — and we're all planning on how to respond and let students know who he is," Para told the Huffington Post. "We won't forget what happened."
Schimmelpenninck Van Der Oye has denied the sexual assault allegation. In 2016, he denied the claims during an interview with the St. Catharines Standard. The professor has not spoken up on his return to the university.