Brock University has reversed its decision to allow a former professor that was found guilty of sexual assault back into the classroom to teach courses to Canadian students. The Ontario professor who sexually assaulted his student will no longer be teaching again this term and students are overjoyed over the decision. The university announced today that David Schimmelpenninck Van Der Oye's history course has now been canceled for the term.
David Schimmelpenninck Van Der Oye was a professor at the university in St. Catharines, Ontario. In 2016, the university Van Der Oye guilty of sexually assaulting a female student during their internal investigation, according to CBC News. He had not been back in the classroom since the incident, but the university announced last week that he was returning to teach a history course at the school.
The decision to allow Van Der Oye to return to the university classroom caused a major backlash from students and non-students alike. In response to the widespread public outcry, the university released a statement today announcing the professor's class was now cancelled, one day ahead of it's intended start date.
"The University takes very seriously the right of every member of the Brock community to work and study in a respectful and safe environment," read the release from Brock University. "Brock will be accelerating the previously scheduled review of its Sexual Violence and Harassment Policy".
The university also added that they respect "the many students and individuals who have expressed their views in a constructive and thoughtful manner". There were no further comments from Brock about the incident.
Students are happy that the university has decided not to let Professor Van Der Oye teach after all. Check out some of their reactions on social media below.
There’s strength in numbers!— Tejal (@tejalsaini_) January 9, 2019
Thank you to everyone who signed the petition, we did it! We got Schimmelpenninck’s History class cancelled. We’ve accomplished this first goal, now let’s keep advocating for our next. Getting him to resign from Brock University #solidarity #brocku pic.twitter.com/W9hby57mdO
Very happy to hear that our demands and outcry have been listened to - the professors class has been cancelled! Although this is good news, I ask @BrockUniversity to explain why they thought it was justified to allow him back into the classroom in the first place?! pic.twitter.com/w0lqzLFGUr— phoebe pengelly (@phoebe_pengelly) January 9, 2019
The cancellation of his course comes after public outcry from Canadians across the country. A petition was even launched and received over 1,000 signatures calling for his immediate resignation.
"For the safety of all students, faculty and staff, it is crucial that Schimmelpenninck immediately resign from Brock University," reads the petition description. "We will not let individuals who have a history of committing sexual violence get away with their actions".
There is also set to be a rally calling for the professor's resignation from Brock University at the school tomorrow, on January 10 from 3 PM to 4 PM.