Professor Removed From Course Over Vulgarity Waiver

January 6, 2016

Laurentian University, in Canada, has removed professor Michael Persinger, a neuroscientist, from teaching an introductory psychology course because of a waiver he asks students to sign over his use of vulgar language in class, CBC News reported. The waiver lists some of the words -- including obscenities and some slurs -- that Persinger says come up in class. He says he's been using the waiver for years, that it is a teaching tool and that it attracts students to the course. The university has not detailed its objections to the waiver, but issued this statement: "It was recently brought to the dean's attention that a Statement of Understanding issued to students by Dr. Persinger was not in compliance with Laurentian University policies."

The Laurentian University Faculty Association has filed a grievance in the case, saying that Persinger's academic freedom has been violated. Anis Farah, president of the union, said academic freedom "includes freedom of teaching, research and discussion, no matter how controversial, without reprisal or censorship."

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