To access the CBC article, click here.
To access the Toronto Star article, click here.
Originally posted: January 30, 2018
The cowardly response from James Simon was nothing short of a dismissive, self-serving lie. As for George Brown College’s response via Brian Stock that “there is no system of cutting”, it can either be interpreted as another willful lie from the college, or merely the response of a deeply uninformed individual.
Firstly, a solid third of my class was cut from the program for reasons having nothing to do with poor punctuality or even lack of effort, and that figure is fairly representative of all classes.
As for the claim that when students are “asked” to leave, they are “given fair warning beforehand”, that is patently false. No student is ever “asked” to leave, they are forced to leave. Furthermore, while I personally had the not-uncommon experience of being given positive reinforcement before being cut, it also wasn’t uncommon for students to be cut from the program having never been on probation, as was the case for one of my fellow ousted students.
I don’t think James Simon’s ongoing propensity for self-preservation is at all shocking. He made the bold, unnecessary choice to lie to prospective students during my audition, claiming that most students drop out of the program or simply fail to meet the school’s strict attendance policy. Claiming that while he does not want to “invalidate the experiences” of students that have come forward, he is in fact doing exactly that, by presenting a revisionist history.
Of course, the pyramid of lies coming from the various levels of power from this institution (of which James Simon suddenly seems eager to personally downplay) is necessary to cover up the greater truth: that James Simon, and the College by extension, were accessories in abuse, harassment, and discrimination. If students had been aware of the risks going into the program, they wouldn’t have been so vulnerable to its silencing power. Hence the lack of complaints from students while IN the program, and the laughable statistic James Simon quoted from the meaningless survey conducted afterwards.
I remain hopeful that James Simon, and the College, will recant their false, disrespectful responses in favour of the obvious truth, and issue suitable apologies to all students whose lives were negatively affected by their shameful irresponsibility.