Wednesday, April 3, 2013

In which I Renege on My Promise

In the course of my last couple of posts, I got into a discussion with some correspondents about how I was presenting only one side of the story. They wanted to know the University's side. In particular, I told Ms. Redboots that I would spend the next few posts disclosing in detail all the accusations the University has made against me.

Since then, I've given it a lot of thought and I've decided maybe I won't do that after all. I'll tell you why not. The first thing I did was to post a link to the short summary of the charges against me which the Registrar provided to me back in December 2011. I pointed out that I had already posted this link last winter, in fact given it great prominence when I hilited in the Free Press talkbacks that went up last September when news of my lawsuit came much so that it has received more hits than anything else I've posted.

So I was pretty surprised when after reposting this link, I got a really hostile response from some Anonymous posters who complained that the information in that letter didn't give enough details as to what I'd actually done. That got me thinking.

I was removed without warning from my Practicum on November 21st. I wrote the Director of Student Teaching three times that week, asking for details of why I had been suspended and what it would take to find me an alternate placement, and she refused to provide any information other than that my removal had been requested by the Principal, that my case had been turned over to the Registrar and that I would be contacted. There was nothing I could do but sit at home and wait helplessly, day after day, as my Practicum slipped away without the chance to seek another school placement and with no reason given. It was over two weeks before the Registrar informed me that I was being charged with non-Academic misconduct, and two more weeks before he finally gave me the summary of complaints which I have shared with you.

It would be four more weeks before he finally handed down his findings on those charges: namely, that I was guilty. In all that time, despite my repeated requests for further disclosure, he refused to give me any further details of the complaints.

So if you're complaining that I haven't told you what I did to get myself kicked out of university...why don't you complain to the Registrar? Because the very sketchy (and very disturbing) allegations contained in his letter are all that I was given to defend myself against.

To be sure, after releasing his findings, the Registrar produced a document which disclosed additional complaints against me, also without details. I then launched my formal appeal to the Student Discipline Appeals Committee. The University scheduled my hearing for forty-five days after my written appeal was acknowledged, the maximum time allowed under the regulations. So it was guaranteed that I would not be able to get back to classes before the term ended, in the unlikely event that I succeeded in my appeal. And even then they refused to disclose the complaints against me, until the very last minute. I described the circumstances as to how that came about in this post. And even then they still refused to provide me with the "complaints" from Gordon Bell.

By the way, I had also tried to get disclosure by applying to the Ombudsman under the Freedom of Information Act. By law, the University is supposed to cough up anything it has on you within thirty days. But they stonewalled for months, while the Ombudsman's office just ignored my complaints. It took six months to get anything out of them, by which time I had long since lost my final appeal. And in any event the bundle of documents they finally gave me was so heavily censored that there was nothing in it that I didn't already have. So much for your FIPPA rights.

So when all is said and done, why won't I tell you now what was in those complaints? Well, to some extent I already have. I went through the letter from Lauralyn Cantor in quite a bit of detail here. But that's not the point. My point is that if you feel I haven't been forthcoming in telling you what I was accused of, how do you think I felt when I was trying to defend myself?

Then there is the question of my fellow classmates. From the hostility against me in the talkbacks, you have to assume that some of the same people who whispered about me behind my back are among my readership. If I'm not being truthful in what I've posted, why don't they come forward with their version? I'm not stopping anyone from posting comments. Let them go to town.

Anyhow, I really wonder why these people say they need to know more details when it's pretty clear that they've already made up their minds? Go back and read the comments to my earlier posts. They're pretty hostile. And the theme that comes through again and again is....they don't need  to know the facts. To my critics, it's already obvious just from the way I write my blog that I'm an antisocial reject who has no business working with children.

So who needs the facts?


  1. with all due respect, anyone can post comments, but you exercise censorship of said comments.

  2. In which you look even more like a delusional self serving lunatic

  3. Again, greetings, Marty:

    Thanks for posting the most succinct & cogent version of your story yet. Assuming that this account is 100% factually accurate, and hasn't been distorted or glossed over in any way during its journey through your psyche; it does seem as if you've been shabbily treated by the university. There is a David-and-Goliath aspect to this that's a bit disquieting.
    On the other hand, there are always at least 2 sides to a story (actually, as many 'sides' as there are people involved). Just because the university hasn't provided you with enough specific detail to suit you, doesn't mean they lack evidence to support their charges against you.
    Perhaps the real problem with this blog isn't that you're only telling your side of the story (I concede my error). Perhaps the problem is that you're telling the university's side of the story at too much length; simultaneously interjecting your POV that all of their unspecified allegations against you are a pack of lies that will ultimately be exposed in court. Unfortunately, that kind of argument has a way of coming across as a self-serving rant.
    And here, we reach the nub of the issue: other people don't perceive you (or your motivations) the way you perceive yourself-- and the more you argue and rant publicly about injustice to you personally, the more eccentric (to put it charitably) you seem.
    Having dipped into your physics blog and read about your problems at UCN, it appears likely to me that you have a long history of getting into conflicts with people and being 'let go' from employment-- but that you've never seriously contemplated the possibility that your behaviour falls outside the spectrum of culturally-determined 'normality' & is therefore a barrier to gainful employment. One of the commenters on the Free Press talkback made an allusion to Aspergers' syndrome. I'm no expert, but this might be worth investigating.
    As things stand right now: Even assuming you're able to convince the Court that the university made procedural & administrative errors in its dealings with you (and this is far from certain); I'm not seeing how you can demonstrate that the university is wrong in its assessment of your potential as a teacher.
    Wrt "Perele's" comments: Marty, you've earned my respect for *not* censoring your critics-- even people like "Anonymous," who is, in my opinion, being abusive.

    Again, best wishes.

  4. Ms Redboots, I have no choice but to respond to some of your specific comments:

    1. I have a right to be eccentric.

    2. I'm pretty careful about calling anyone a liar. Unlike the people who defamed me behind a firewall of absolute privilege, I'm wide open to being sued for what I post. So I haven't called anyone a liar unless I think I can back it up.

    3. If I have Asperger's, I understand that I may have trouble getting and holding a job. I don't see how that entitles them to kick me out of school.

    4. You're not seeing how I can "demonstrate that the university is wrong in its assessment of my potential as a teacher" because I haven't attempted to make that case in this blog. Well, I've given a small hint of what I've got lined up in my post on Lauralyn Cantor. But for the most part I'm saving my arguments for a time when they'll do me the most good.

    Other than that, thanks for the feedback. I'm always glad to hear from you.

  5. Marty knows that he deleted my comment responding to the prison story

  6. Hi, Marty:

    You *always* have a choice as to whether to respond or not.

    1. Sure, you have a right to be eccentric. But that right stops where others' rights to a safe & productive working/educational environment start. Further, eccentricity isn't a disability or a diagnosable condition that has to be accommodated. No one is obliged to provide you with a platform (a classroom) upon which; or a captive audience (students) before whom to display those eccentricities.
    2. I haven't accused you of calling anyone in particular a liar. But your post dated February 17th clearly states your POV that the university's case is "built on lies".
    3. You've never stated that you have Aspergers, nor has the university expelled you for having Aspergers. It expelled you for what it calls "non-academic misconduct". So your point is moot. On the other hand, assuming that your conduct fits the diagnostic criteria for Aspergers, and assuming Aspergers is a condition requires that reasonable accommodations have to be made in the classroom/workplace.... I'm sure you can see it might benefit you to investigate this further.
    4. You have every right-- and you would be wise to exercise it-- to save your arguments for the time when they'll do you the most good. But in that case, why continue to blog about this issue? It's not as if you're generating a tidal wave of public support. In fact, I'd say that the more you blog, the less support you're getting.

    At this point, I've pretty much exhausted my inclination to engage with you. I wish you well, and I hope you're able to find something satisfying to do with your life that will fully engage your intellect & your passion for math & physics. I'm still far from certain that teaching is the best profession for you.

  7. Not saying how I know, but I'm not surprised one bit that a Canadian public institution with super-low personnel attrition has a bunch of job-for-life dictators who run the show based on personal likes and dislikes, completely contrary to what Canadian society expects of them. The character assassination that appears to have happened does not surprise me one bit.

    To those posters who choose to attack the author based on personal ad hominems, your mentality is what stands in the way of a just society. We're not debating whether the author has Aspergers or not here, we're talking about (lack of) due process and the behaviour of public institutions that have been given an enormous level of self-governance by a society that trusts them. And we're also talking about one person's quest to get justice through the only avenue he has left: the courts.

    Regarding the lawsuit, all I have to say is that it saddens me how it takes a person of this high level of intelligence, motivation and self-determination to even have a CHANCE at justice in this sort of case. Unless your parents are VERY wealthy and ready to spend money on some SERIOUSLY expensive lawyers, only someone with the qualities of the author have a chance at even ASKING for justice. And this is a big big problem in a society that holds accountability and "good government" to be a national value.

    Those that are attacking the author, or trolling, or trying to move the discussion off topic, stop trying to silence those of us interested in the topic of this blog. Because if you stay on topic you'll realize this is very much a discussion worth having.

    1. Agree that there's been far too much abuse and name-calling in this forum (altho' that seems to be an occupational hazard of blogging).
      Agree that the cost of launching a court challenge is prohibitive (which is probably why there are more & more self-represented litigants before the courts).
      Disagree that Marty's personal characteristics are irrelevant. The university expelled him for non-academic misconduct, which puts his behaviour (& possibly the causes for same) at the front & centre of this case.
      *Maybe*-- and it's a huge *maybe*-- Marty will be able to establish in court that the university didn't provide him with enough warnings, or notices, or specifics of the allegations against him (but, as I understand it, they offered him a meeting, which he declined). But the secondary questions are going to be: Did Marty *in fact* engage in the kinds of behaviours that are alleged against him, and do those behaviours constitute non-academic misconduct? As I understand it, Marty has alleged that the university defamed him & destroyed his reputation-- but did it, if what it alleged about him was factually true?
      Marty(and you, apparently)would like to keep the discussion focused firmly on the presumed iniquities of the university. Most readers, on the other hand, are understandably more concerned about the secondary questions, because the answers to *those* questions raise issues as to Marty's potential fitness as a teacher-- not to mention the underlying merits of the lawsuit itself. The secondary issues are precisely the ones that Marty has (quite reasonably) declined to address in this forum. He may well find that he will be required to do so in court.
      Aside from "Perele's allegations that *Marty* censored a comment, I haven't seen any evidence that posters on this blog are trying to "silence" anyone else. However, the proper forum to resolve the issues in dispute here *is* the courtroom & *not* this blog-- which again raises the question-- what's the point of the blog?