Jordan Peterson and Lindsay Shepherd images via Channel 4 and The Rubin Report
Many of us have tried to forget the seemingly unending controversy over a Jordan Peterson video played in a university communications class last November. But the teaching assistant who captured the hearts and minds of right-wing free speech crusaders by leaking the audio a poorly-conceived disciplinary meeting is apparently not ready to move on.Yes, Lindsay Shepherd has reportedly filed a $3.6 million lawsuit against Wilfrid Laurier University for harassment and creating a “toxic environment.”
According to the National Post, Shepherd is claiming damages for “attacks” by the university and staff that have “rendered her unemployable in academia.” She names two professors, as well as the school’s office of diversity and inclusion as defendants in the suit.Shepherd’s battle with Laurier began in November when she showed a clip of Jordan Peterson debating about the use of gender neutral pronouns. The next day, her professor Nathan Rambukkana and two other superiors told her she was creating a “toxic environment” by playing the Peterson clip without context. Rambukkana likened this to “neutrally playing a speech by Hitler.”Shepherd leaked audio of what she called an “inquisition” to media, setting off a global controversy about free speech on campus. The school’s president responded with an apology, and Rambukkana wrote his own lengthy open letter expressing his deep regrets over how the meeting was handled. The university also launched an independent fact-finding report that found no wrongdoing on Shepherd’s part.Despite the school’s best efforts to make this incident go away, Shepherd has continued speaking out against Laurier and social justice run amok on any TV show or far-right podcast that will have her. She’s also taken to mocking students who do snowflakey things like submitting a thesis in comic book form.Shepherd’s lawsuit claims she has had to abandon her PhD and teaching plans following the controversy. But judging by her recent appearance at a Rebel live speaking event, her budding career as a contrarian pundit is advancing on schedule.Follow Sarah on Twitter.Sign up for the VICE Canada Newsletter to get the best of VICE Canada delivered to your inbox.