Flagrant anti-gay discrimination in a Canadian nursing college

Uh-oh. There is evidence that the damning email might have been faked. The “from” field of the message looks to have been crudely pasted in, and this whole story may be a product of a slighted student’s imagination.

This is an astonishing example of homophobic bigotry in a nursing college. A student was basically flunked out of a key course in the curriculum for a reason you will find hard to believe — here’s a letter from a nursing faculty member to the student:

Nioska, I’ve been thinking about the meeting in rita’s office and I feel that maybe Nursing is the wrong career for you. As a nurse, I have to advocate for my patients, and i feel that female patients will be uncomfortable having a lesbian nurse caring for them. You do not provide a sense of security to patients when you keep important information from them. Your sexual orientation is something important that patients have a right to know so that they can decide if they wish to have you as their caregiver. I myself am not homophobic at all, but I would not want a lesbian nurse caring for me when I am vulnerable. I would just not feel comfortable with that.

I think it might be best if you see student services to explore other career options that do not involve physical interaction, and intimacy. It wuold look better if you left nursing out of your own accord, rather than get kicked out.

i am just being honest. at the beginning of the rotation you asked me to be honest in my feedback, and i am doing just that.


Notice: the student is a lesbian, and she does not trouble her patients with her sexual orientation … and the faculty member is penalizing her for being discreet! She is actually insisting that her students declare their sexuality, a completely irrelevant characteristic, to all of her patients.

If I were in the hospital, and my nurse walked up to my bed and cheerfully announced, “I am a heterosexual!”, I can guarantee you that my wife would march up to the administration and demand an immediate change of the nursing assignment. The sexual preferences of nurses may be a staple of porn films, but it is not the reality of health care.

And look at that classic disclaimer…she’s not homophobic, oh no — she just wouldn’t want a homosexual giving her injections and changing her bedpan.

This is absolutely outrageous. Even worse, the college is dragging out the investigation, has hurt the student’s prospects, and shows no sign of actually wanting to address the issue, preferring to try and place the blame on the student. The college also outed the student to all of her fellow students in the course of ‘investigating’ the problem. I’ve got a full account from the student below the fold.

I am a second year Nursing student. One week after sending receiving this email from my clinical instructor, she failed me in my Pediatrics clinical rotation. The official infractions were cited as “wrinkled uniform, rudeness and disrespect.” To fail clinical, means you fail the class. You fail the class; you’re out of the program. On December 12, 2008 I was permitted to write my final exam, leading me to believe that I had succeeded in stomaching the nauseatingly difficult semester. However, at my clinical evaluation, which took place right after the exam, I was informed that I had failed clinical. Since clinical itself was not worth a numeric grade, it was just “pass” or “fail”, my grade was dropped from 92% to 50% – to reflect the fail.

I commenced the appeals process immediately, and at first nobody was interested in allowing me to plead my case. It wasn’t until I sent the appeal to the Ministry of Education, and they contacted the school, that the College realized my dismissal from the program was based on much more than academics. The college decided that it would do an internal investigation.

This internal “investigation” has dragged on now for four months. Over the past few weeks the college has become sadistic in their actions. When one of the emails was posted on reddit.com, both the College and the clinical instructor were inundated with hate emails. The college sent me a “Cease & Desist” letter, threatening legal action if I continued to “[spread] information that is false, defamatory, or that could cause prejudice to anyone at the college.”

However, after sending this “gag order”, the school felt that it was their right to inform my Nursing class that I “suing the school for homophobia” (at that point, it was just an academic appeal, which is supposed to be confidential). I will never deny my sexual orientation; however, it’s also not something I feel the need to go out of my way to inform others about, especially if it’s not relevant. I was not “out” to everyone in my class, as the topic or opportunities never presented themselves in the academic setting. The school felt it was their responsibility to “out” me.

Events culminated when the College demanded I hand over my hard drives, laptops, and desk top computers (all belonging to me). I realized that the reason the appeal was dragging on was because the College knew the clinical teacher is in fact a racist, homophobic bigot, but tenureship and a union gave her immunity – including the right to discriminate. Therefore, it was vital that I somehow be discredited.

The demands, the humiliation, the degradation, the dehumanization was only going to end when I was discredited, or when I decided to walk away. The realization was overwhelming and suffocating. I attempted, but failed to commit suicide by slashing my arms.

Due to being in hospital, I was unable to meet with their investigator for a second time. I had requested the right to attend this meeting accompanied by someone, and it was denied. When they were informed that I was not able to attend the meeting, they demanded a Medical certificate with a diagnosis, [which is never detailed in a doctor’s note (privacy, confidentiality)], for their “investigation” to proceed.

I gave them the medical certificate, which they stated it was necessary to have a diagnosis clearly indicated. Their insistence and persistence confirmed my suspicion that the only reason they wanted the diagnosis (suicide attempt) was so it could be used against me. I refused to acknowledge my reason for being in hospital, and demanded that attention be refocused on my initial complaint.

An issue that should have been resolved long ago is now cascading into other areas of my life. Yesterday morning I found out I was denied admission to the College I was requesting a transfer to. It is the first time in my whole life I have ever been denied admission to any post secondary school. The reason for being denied admission was cited as “weak grades” – which on my transcript laced with 80s and 90s, the only weak grade I have is the 50 from pediatrics.

I have yet to receive from the College a response or conclusion of the investigation, and my appeal.

Heritage College of Quebec certainly looks like an awful place to work or study — I hope they get their asses sued, if this account is verified.


  1. says

    To sow further doubt and confusion: Ninoska, codeblue, heritagestudent, and TassyMK are all posting from identical IP addresses.

  2. Josh(the one who is who he says he is) says

    Intersting that in one and the same thread I have been accused of not being who I say I am not, and someone else is being accused of pretending to be someone they aren’t…

  3. aratina says

    fakeJosh#494: :D You want me to prove that fictional characters aren’t sentient? OK: They don’t have brains which are required for sentience, therefore they cannot possibly be sentient. LOL, maybe that isn’t a very intellectually complex way of looking at it, but it’s a simple way to cut down on the woo factor.

    Ninoska: So it turns out we have a criminal mastermind behind these allegations? Go figure. What was the next step in the plot? Were you going to bilk us all for money to support your legal defense fund?

  4. JavaGoddess says

    As a gay woman who cares for an elderly friend when her 24/7 caregiver needs respite, I feel saddened that, even if the truth is stretched in this particular case, things like this do happen. Also, just as sadly, there are folks who are a bit ‘over the top’ in every segment of society.
    That might be the case with ‘N’, as there are 2 very troubling points that she talks about. First, she implies that she was forced to give up her OWN equipment. No one can legally demand equipment that is purchased and owned by the student, unless they have a court order.
    Second, someone who is so in need of help from a mental health professional, that something as common (once again, sadly) as homophobia triggers a suicide attempt, is NOT a good candidate for ANY job or school.
    It is also an indication of poor judgment to think it is a good idea to put the above online for the world to see. Most employers, etc., if given the choice of an emotionally stable person and one who is not, will choose stable.

    That being said, the LAST thing I think about while attending to the physical needs of someone disabled or otherwise vulnerable is “Ohhh, she is HOT!” Call me crazy, but when carefully and gently cleaning the feces that splatter all over ‘the area’….all I am thinking of is how I can keep her clean and dry to prevent tissue breakdown.

  5. AnthonyK says

    Now I am confused. Fuck me, is there anyone is this world who really does exist?
    It’s the ultimate goal of atheism – to demostrate that man is a work of fiction.

  6. Josh-not-the-geologist says


    I always thought it would be weird to change a baby’s diaper…

    but now I know all I’m thinking is, “I better hurry before this gets worse…how do I keep it off me???…why does it stink so much and how can I keep it from becoming so sticky, thereby making it easier to clean???…”

  7. says

    Most employers, etc., if given the choice of an emotionally stable person and one who is not, will choose stable.

    Hence the perpetuation of homeless and unemployed people with mental health issues, because no one has patience for their problems — which, by the way, are as legitimate as physical problems.

    Clearly if someone’s instabilities affect their work, they are being unprofessional, require more support, or are unsuited to that particular job. But not hiring (or firing) because of a mental health issue is as discriminatory as not hiring (or firing) because of sexuality.

  8. JavaGoddess says

    “Clearly if someone’s instabilities affect their work, they are being unprofessional, require more support, or are unsuited to that particular job. But not hiring (or firing) because of a mental health issue is as discriminatory as not hiring (or firing) because of sexuality. ”

    Here is an example, unfair as it may seem:
    Let’s say you own a small business struggling just to break even, as MANY companies are right now.
    Two applicants come in, later you ‘Google’ them. One is blogging that they are in and out of hopsitals and bringing lawsuits against former employers, or even just getting nasty about previous employers.
    The other blogs about how much they love the career they have, and says wonderful, positive things about others.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Jeepers, I think I’ll hire the unstable one, because that way there will be more of a risk that they will cause drama in the workplace, and will often be off sick. After all, better my other workers get a lower wage.

    Fair or not, if you are not suited as an EMPLOYEE of someone else’s business, better for them AND YOU if you work for yourself, as an independant worker. There are many ways to make a living without bringing down a workplace.

    For you to compare it to orientation is silly, because often no one even KNOWS the person is gay.

    Now here is another example, perhaps you’ll like.
    Two applicants (both happen to be male)….one is wearing a suit and tie, the other is wearing a ‘Queer Nation’ T shirt and cut-offs.

    Of COURSE, you hire the SUIT.

    You hire the suit, even if you did or didn’t notice the rainbow flag on his lapel.

  9. says

    To sow further doubt and confusion: Ninoska, codeblue, heritagestudent, and TassyMK are all posting from identical IP addresses.

    Thanks, and to me that actually simplifies things a little. For one, it confirms that there are heavy shenanigans going on here, whatever the truth of the truth of the original story (in particular, it confirms that “TassyMK” is a sockpuppet). It only leaves the question of whether commenter “Ninoska” is the real Ninoska (in which case, she’s a Very Bad Girl playing a very stupid game), or a troll who picked up Ninoska’s story and decided to yank everyone’s chains.

  10. udo schuklenk says

    here’s a reply I received form the college today. i think it’s ok to post it here, seeing that they didn’t even take the time to add my name to it (ie they are probably sending it to anyone inquiring about the story).


    In response to your e-mail message, Heritage College in Gatineau is writing to inform you of its position.

    As you know, a student has filed complaints with various agencies against Heritage College in Gatineau and against the nursing department, which she is accusing of harassment, discrimination and homophobia.

    These are allegations that we have taken very seriously: as soon as we became aware of the situation, we asked the Centre collégial des services regroupés (CCSR) to conduct an external investigation. We are currently awaiting the results of this investigation.

    Please be assured that our institution would never accept harassment or discriminatory or homophobic behavior by its administrative and teaching staff or its students. On the contrary, we advocate and convey values of openness and tolerance, which is the only way to ensure that people get along harmoniously.

    The College will make no further comments until such time as the final investigation report has been received.

    We hope this explanation meets your expectations.


    JoAnne Werner

    Academic Dean”

  11. Ken says

    > Posted by: PZ Myers “To sow further doubt and confusion: Ninoska, codeblue, heritagestudent, and TassyMK are all posting from identical IP addresses.”

    PZ, I daresay you removed most doubt and all confusion.

  12. says

    JavaGoddess… I am speaking in general (as you were at first, so I thought) and now you’ve come up with these very specific scenarios as if they dismiss my general point. They don’t. Generally speaking, discrimination against the mentally disabled or ill is as wrong as discriminating against the physically disabled and minorities.

    The comparison is not silly. Not everyone knows, or has the right to know, that someone is depressed (for example) either. If they are managing themselves with medication enough to do a particular job, then the employer has no right not to hire them — or to fire them — on the basis of their mental illness alone. If there are other factors (like poor references and demonstrated unprofessionalism) then I would understand. But discrimination based on mental illness alone (i.e., with no negative effect on work performance) is bigotry.

  13. SteveL says


    It only leaves the question of whether commenter “Ninoska” is the real Ninoska (in which case, she’s a Very Bad Girl playing a very stupid game), or a troll who picked up Ninoska’s story and decided to yank everyone’s chains.

    Whoever it was had access to the Flickr account where the emails were posted. Could be of course an elaborate (and stupid) piece of trollery, but more likely is just the real Ninoska being a dumbass.

  14. JavaGoddess says

    Yes, K, the comparison is silly.
    If you misunderstood my point, once again, it is that discrimination is wrong, but if an employer can hire someone they know will be a high risk for missed days as well as disharmony in the workplace, and someone without that risk (based on available information) it is in their best interest to hire the drama-free person.

    There is a big difference between choosing not to hire someone based on known risks that affect the workplace, and choosing not to hire some based on who they are emotionally attracted to as a mate…something that does not affect the workplace.
    No one said anything about discrimination based on mental illness alone. The post was about someone who makes a point of saying they are unstable, and why employers might shy away from that. Perhaps in your desire to (understandably and admirably) show outrage over mental health discrimination, you missed the point.

  15. Bluey says

    Whoever Ninoska/codeblue/heritagestudent/TassyMK is also had access to Ninoska’s myspace account, which also has been cleared. Hmmm…

  16. says

    Words can not describe how sad this article makes me. :( I can not believe that a teacher would fail a student because of their sexual orientation.

  17. astrounit says

    Aratina #434 chastises, “Now ask yourself: What are you going to do if Ninoska is fibbing? The answer: Nothing. But if she is telling the truth, then we will all write letters, not just you (quite a few have done so already).”

    Don’t tell me what I will do or should do. And if I choose to make a hunting dog analogy, that’s my prerogative. It fits my opinion reasonably, and doesn’t have to fit yours.

    Here’s how that part works: when it comes to MY actions, I CAN CHOOSE TO TELL YOU what I shall or shall not do. Is that clear?

    I’LL TELL YOU NOW I haven’t considered what I would do if Ninoska is fibbing. That ‘if scenario’ simply hasn’t crystalized into any preparation of will or intention.

    I’LL TELL YOU NOW, however, that what I probably WON’T do “nothing”. I cross such bridges when I get to them.

    I’LL TELL YOU NOW that I don’t at all think “we we will all write letters, not just [me]”. What the heck gave you the impression that I ever implied or suggested I was the only person who wrote any letter or imagined I’d be the only one who would be writing them?

    Sure can’t be your powers of reading comprehension.

    I WILL TELL YOU NOW: I haven’t written ANYTHING EXCEPT a handful of comments on this thread. Isn’t that fascinating?

    Perhaps you would you like to investigate the credibility of those statements too? It’s your prerogative, ya know. Go ahead. Knock yourself out. I don’t give a flying shit.

    All I’ve been trying to point out is that this is a BLOG, an informal forum for discussion, not an official investigation panel, as a vocal few here seem to have turned it into.

    You blithely say, “Ninoska has every opportunity to defend her claim here (something she has not satisfactorily done)”

    You see, that’s the problem. I – me, now, MY opinion – I think that “here” is NOT the place for the required serious inquiry, ok? Do you mind?

    YES, I DO think it’s perfectly okay for people to dig into a story, ESPECIALLY if it seems fishy. NO, I DON’T think it’s pretty to see SOME (NOT ALL!!!) who have done such digging turning inference into conclusive judgement. I aimed my comments at the judgemental few, not at all at those who acutely spotted peculiarity and inconsistency and looked for more. Pharyngulites are sharp cookis, generally, and really good at digging things up (as well as, say, overturning ridiculous polls). This is entirely honorable.

    But I have to wince at the few who get “such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” (I wonder if MT had been misquoted somehow and was referring to religion rather than science with that one). I wince exactly the same way whenever I encounter religiously inspired judgements, don’t you?

    You point out, “Yes, she actually damaged her credibility by removing access to purported evidence and then presenting an incoherent response as to why she did it and how the evidence was collected in the first place.”

    Yes, of COURSE! I have no doubts about how it MIGHT look that way. It is certainly consistent from the point of view that presumes she’s guilty. But there ARE other consistent solutions to many conundrums. At this point none of us can dismiss the possibility that her actions or apparent incoherence are a result of being innocently flummoxed by overwhelming emotional strain or other factors we simply have no knowledge of.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve been under the strong impression that this sort of situation is one of the reasons why lawyers often advise their clients to shut up and let them handle their case. People can shoot themselves in the foot despite their honesty. That’s also a reason why US law often provides for court-appointed council if a defendant can’t afford one and why it has something called the Miranda Rights which caution suspects that speaking may lead to inadvertant self-incrimination, especially when it gets dissected by the opposition or prosecuting attorney. Lawyers are experts at rhetoric and they like to win their cases by any means within the law, you know. They don’t care much if you are totally innocent, and they’re apt to jump on every inconsistency in testimony, no matter how slight, to take advantage.

    You seem one who thinks that this blog is a legitimate forum to determine guilt or innocence. I don’t. I just think it (used to be) a fun place to visit and share ideas about all things beautiful in nature and the rottenness of religious thinking that imperils are freedom to appreciate it.

    So, please, aratina, do knock it off with the phony outrage act. I’m dreadfully sorry that I raised the possibility that you and some others may have rushed to judgement. Rather sobering, wasn’t it? But baying up a tree at an incidental squirrel doesn’t become you. The nasty fox is what the hunters are supposed to be after, yes?

  18. astrounit says

    No no, dreikin (#436), you’re quite right. I didn’t make myself sufficiently distinct. I DID know you were referring to others, and I didn’t think you accused me of anything except with the imputation you cast in that last sentence: “You accuse those looking into the matter of starting up a faux trial against Ninoska, but that’s exactly what’s been happening against Tassy, and we’re saying “hold it – something doesn’t seem right”.”

    That’s what I focused my reply on. I didn’t think it was particularly incongruous, considering that you also imply that I didn’t send any emails to anyone other than Ninoska. I thought that imputation also required correction too, and replied that I hadn’t.

    I admit my wording exclusively attached an importance to defending the credibility of Ninoska, as a reaction to seeing an unseemly pile-up in that particular quarter. It’s quite a challenge to avoid the impression of polarization. No matter how one may try to be as comprehensive as possible, things are inevitably left out that might have clarified a stance. But then there is something in each of us that tends to impute a stance in others where there is none…a flaw you point out in my reply. You may want to read it again upon that perspective.

    To be absolutely sure, my stance is that this has become a faux exercise in ANY case. If it hurts ANY innocent party involved – Ninoska, Tassy or the College – it’s rotten. I HOPE you agree.

    My stance is that this forum is not the place for that kind of exercise at all. I HOPE you agree.

    Perhaps we ought both endeavor to “try reading more carefully next time”. Truce?

  19. astrounit says

    XD, #450 says, “astrounit, in your comments #431 and #432, you berate the sceptical people for uncovering evidence showing that the e-mails have (beyond reasonable doubt) been altered, and concluding that the story of persecution (which relied on the validity of those e-mails) therefore looks fabricated. However, your comments #148 and #152 reveal that you had no problem coming to the conclusion that the teacher was guilty based only on the evidence presented by the accuser.”

    XD, I was I thought sufficiently clear in my “beration” of CERTAIN FOLKS WHO PASSED JUDGEMENT, NOT AT ALL ON GOOD SKEPTICAL ENTERPRISE.

    If you see any “contradiction” in anything I’ve said, you are precisely the kind of imbecile who looks at a complex human world through glasses that render everything in either black or white, with no gradation of brightness or color.

    My “comments reveal”? HAH. That’s news to me. What they REVEAL in at least ONE case is a smartass reader who simply likes taking potshots without considering what merit there is in a fellow commentator’s opinion.

    Did you maybe get any of that other stuff registered, or were you just looking for a way to find “contradiction”?

    This is the ghastly part of this thing. Slip up – or be PERCEIVED to have slipped up – in ANY PART of what one is attempting to say about a complex issue, and the whole basic point gets thrown out of “THE COURT”.

    This makes me feel miserable beyond words.

  20. aratina cage says

    astrounit wrote in #431:

    MY doubt and skepticism extends to everything: when it comes right down to lives and reputations, I’m sorry, but I just can’t trust “forensic” work by some Pharyngulites (BTW, sorry for the previous mispelling of that) within about a 5-hour time span from PZ posting to the first substantially expressed doubt. Thereafter the dogs went after it. I don’t mind the sniffing out at all, it’s all that hideous baying that drives me banannas.

    That’s just my opinion, you know. I can still have my personal opinion, yes? Or would you like to slap me around some more to get me to fall in line with one side or another?

    Re: astrounit

    Don’t tell me what I will do or should do. And if I choose to make a hunting dog analogy, that’s my prerogative. It fits my opinion reasonably, and doesn’t have to fit yours.

    If this had been face to face I would have said the same thing to you after what you said. I think you were wrong. I never said your opinion had to fit mine, I was just telling you what my opinion was about what you said and the way you came down on the debunkers. Why do you get to decide that other people are comparable to dogs when other people are not allowed to tell you to knock it off?

    What the heck gave you the impression that I ever implied or suggested I was the only person who wrote any letter or imagined I’d be the only one who would be writing them?

    You implied it, astrounit, through your dog analogy. Now that you know Ninoska, at least the person claiming that name all over the Web, turned out to be a sockpuppet master, aren’t you glad there were people here who debunked the email and sent the sockpuppet master fleeing?

    At this point none of us can dismiss the possibility that her actions or apparent incoherence are a result of being innocently flummoxed by overwhelming emotional strain or other factors we simply have no knowledge of.

    Whoever posed as Ninoska has willfully assumed the identity of a real person (Tassy or Ninoska) or perhaps two real people (Ninoska and Tassy) and I’m sure it could have legal repercussions as it was defamatory and criminally mischievous. Unfortunately, if there is a real Ninoska behind this, she probably needs help, but for all we know it could have been a crime ring trying to gain sympathy and then money.

    I’m dreadfully sorry that I raised the possibility that you and some others may have rushed to judgement. Rather sobering, wasn’t it?

    It’s good to know you feel that way, but I didn’t take it personally when you made the dog analogy; I thought you were wrongly aiming that crude analogy at other people who were finding legitimate reasons to doubt the sincerity of Ninoska.

    Do knock it off with the phony outrage act.

    It wasn’t phony outrage, it wasn’t even outrage. I just thought you were being uncouth by portraying your fellow atheists as dogs. Oh yeah, the part about them slapping people around also didn’t sound very nice.

    I’LL TELL YOU NOW, however, that what I probably WON’T do “nothing”.

    OK then, what are you going to do next?

    Here’s how that part works: when it comes to MY actions, I CAN CHOOSE TO TELL YOU what I shall or shall not do. Is that clear?

    Do I have a choice in this matter? I do!? I stand by dreiken#411, then.

  21. Stagyar zil Doggo says

    The person who posted as Ninoska/codeblue/heritagestudent/TassyMK would do well to note that while sockpuppetry using made-up names is merely dishonest and annoying, portraying your comments as coming from physically existing people can amount to identity theft. You have falsely claimed to be one or both of Ninoska and Tassy, both of whom appear to be real people based on the response from the College*.

    Here, for example is the story of one Norman Golb, whose actions seem to have been essentially similar to yours. He has been charged with identity theft, criminal impersonation and aggravated harassment, and faces a maximum of four years in prison if convicted.

    *Unless that was fake too; which would make this a fraud of substantially greater subtlety.

  22. says

    I’d rather have a lesbian save my life while I was dying on a hospital bed than die on a hospital bed without having someone there to help me.

  23. astrounit says

    aratina. What’s eating at you?

    I made some comments to the effect that “SOME HERE” are salivating in their haste to “come to the bottom of this” and passing JUDGEMENTS. I suggested that nobody here can come to any real bottom to this, certainly nothing that can be construed as the basis for passing judgement.

    In case you didn’t notice it, the Red Flag of emotional instability became a factor. Potentially SERIOUS instability, mind you. And I saw people piling it up without almost nobody saying anything about how dangerous it is to play with that kind of fire.

    But you get all hot and bothered because I use a hunting dog analogy to characterize those SOME individuals who were DOGGEDLY in pursuit of “evidence” in order to pass a judgement. I did NOT EVER say, in any way shape or form, that rooting out falsehood or getting to the truth is bad.

    What the heck is the matter with you? Do you have trouble reading? All I said was it isn’t anybody’s place here to conduct a hanging party. SOME SURE DID SEEM INTENT ON DOING SO (what with linked file references with “guilt” in the file names and so on). That does NOT mean that I was referring to all of us! I was referring to the FEW who DID.

    I only got two negative responses, from yourself and (somewhat equivocally) from dreikin. THAT part was something between dreikin and I and is, as far as I’m aware, resolved. Yet you infiltrate that in order to bolster your (false) argument. Why do you feel the need to do that? Out of hundreds of readers, only you and dreikin REACTED with negative responses. Even out of few dozen of those who were rooting out info, only you and dreikin had a problem with what I said. Out of the relative handful of those who were rabid in their PASSING JUDGEMENT…well, there you are.

    The funny part is, I was one of those few dozen rooters myself. What I found that WASN’T posted (as far as I could reasonably ascertain) showed me as much of a delicate situation as it indicated something fishy going on. I did NOT post what I found, out of an abundance of caution BECAUSE of a potentially delicate situation, capish?

    Don’t worry, I’m perfectly content there were only a few that might have hinted at some positive support, but I won’t ever think that means what I said didn’t need saying. I do not care about making sure my opinion coincides with others and I do not care about popularity as a litmus test for acquiring truth. Heck, I don’t even care about the Molly Awards. Seriously. (Yeah yeah, I know, heresy, dear me, I’ll get JUDGED and thrown into the dungeon…which is, by the way, viewed by most who have been stationed there as a badge of honor).

    But looky here at this for a real humdinger…if you are kind enough to give me the benefit of the doubt, at least this once:

    QUESTION: Why were you just now so adept at making sure that one comment of mine (as I specifically answered a comment of yours) is so neatly attached to an earlier one completely out of context?

    Oh yes. Anybody can see. It’s all right there for anybody to check.

    But don’t worry. I won’t launch an investigation into your credibility. I won’t mind. And probably almost nobody else will either.

    You see, I just don’t think it’s my place to pass judgement on anybody’s character just because they post a comment based on a preconception of what it is I was supposed to have said. I don’t know what other people suppose what I’ve said. But I CAN deal with statements from such people

    Can it be your motivation is to make an argument to defend your position? I’ve no doubt about that. But what troubles me is that what you are defending is a completely dilapidated interpretation of what I said. You have absolutely no understanding of what I was saying. All you saw was ATTACK! ATTACK! All you did was REACT! REACT!

    You didn’t READ READ. Or if you did, you did not COMPREHEND.

    And you apparently haven’t registered anything I actually said. NONE of it. (Which was the hopeful point of my reply specifically to you).

    I’m too tired to go through every friggin’ point you make. They’re ALL based on a completely wrong reading of my point. Trust me.

    If you don’t, well then, I’ll be willing to get on with it in the morning, but if I do, it won’t be pretty. I do NOT want to do that.

    On the other hand, can we PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE call this quits??? I’m begging you from the bottom of my “uncouth” heart, okay?

  24. aratina says

    Astrounit, I may just not be very familiar with your communication style or background. Where I come from (U.S.), calling someone a dog (a.k.a. “bitch”) is vulgar–almost violent–speech. Maybe you didn’t realize it when you wrote it. So it ate me up and I called you out on it thinking you knew how offensive it was. If that wasn’t your intention, fine.

    I’m well aware that Ninoska probably is in serious need of help and probably in some way wrapped up with the sockpuppeteer so that the debunking would further distress an already disturbed mind. It is always a good thing to help a person in need, but it is my style that when a person in need is abusing me or my neighbors, I would rather protect myself and my neighbors first. I hope you can appreciate my point of view. The only one I saw being “hung” (and it really wasn’t anything like a hanging, just a bunch of heartfelt letters) was Mrs. Kingsley, who is pictured in one of the PDF files at Heritage College (see the PDF file called Communique from a google) as a middle-aged woman wearing big bright pink suspenders.

    Now, simply because nobody else responded to your post#431 doesn’t mean I’m alone in my interpretation of it, nor does it mean that other people read it or cared about it. In fact, maybe some people silently praised your post#431. I just wasn’t one of those myriad other people. Look, if I were you I wouldn’t take me too seriously (and I’m not even sure you have except for the length of your response).

    I put the part of #431 in the post so it would be evident what I was talking about. I also built my post#523 without reading your copious response to dreikner, so I didn’t mean to infiltrate any truce between you two. My reading of your post#431 is that you were responding to dreiken#411 and I agree with dreiken, not your response to him. You say I misinterpreted it and misrepresented you. OK, then. I can handle being wrong once again.

  25. clinteas says

    aratina @ #527 etc., astrounit @ #528 etc.:
    Get a room. Jeez.

    If thats a mating ritual,its the weirdest Ive seen.

  26. Don't Panic says

    I think it comes from SteveL having seen too many romantic comedy movies. Standard plot device: two protagonists start out hating each other and amidst the overheated argument either end up in a deep embrace (old films) or fade to shot of a trail of clothes leading to the bedroom (new films).

    You accuse astrounit of calling someone a “bitch” in #528, but the only instances that word in this thread are by dasdasd@39 and Susan@88 calling out dasdasd. So I don’t get where you’re coming from on that. Astrounit did use the “baying up a tree” analogy, but I don’t think that’s offensive in the same manner — the pack of hounds, hot on the trail isn’t calling someone a dog per se, it’s likening us to a crazed canines in blood thirsty hunt for some wild animal (fox, squirrel, etc) to tear to pieces. Potentially offensive in a completely different, but non-sexist, way.

    Also, “voyeuristic”, I don’t think that word means what you think it means. I think SteveL is asking you to take your little lover’s spat elsewhere, because you’re boring us and it’s, well, unsightly. You’re being exhibitionist, not us being voyeurs.

  27. Don't Panic says

    Seriously? Huh? I was slapping your trivially disproven accusation down, and you claim “vidication”? Again, I don’t think that word means what you think it means. You earlier hinted that you thought astrounit’s primary language wasn’t English; now I’m thinking that that was projection on your part. Get help with reading comprehension, please.

    As for my claim that the “baying up a tree” was potentially offensive, ah, I should have put more emphasis on the potentially. I mean, really, only if one is oversensitive and looking for a fight.

  28. aratina cage says

    Don’t Panic, I meant that astrounit’s account is vindicated by you (twice now, for everyone’s viewing pleasure). And by all means, please clarify away, Don’t Panic. You seem to have all the answers.

  29. Don't Panic says

    Are you always such a fucktard, or just online?
    Apparently I do need to clarify because you seem to be having some difficulty. Are my words too large for you? Damn, there I go poking the mentally unstable…

    Astrounit’s “account” is vindicatable by anyone who is capable of using a search function in a browser. He/she/it didn’t use the word “bitch” and thus you were wrong in your accusation. I never claimed to have “all the answers”, but I do know how to read. But do continue on with the wild and wacky claims on a dead thread. Hopefully it will keep you busy and away from other more active ones … though your troll counterpart JT seems to be making those unreadable.

    Take a chill pill and thicken up your skin or you won’t be a happy camper on this here blog. Do you really think the casual metaphorical allusion to hounds “baying up a tree” is worth all the stress you seem to be putting yourself through?
    You’ve worked yourself up in quite a lather over it and you’re lashing out to the point of being overwrought.

  30. says

    You know what, Don’t Panic, what you have aimed at me is beyond the pale. I don’t understand where you are coming from and why you are coming at me with such tenacity. All I did was respond to astrounit. If you want to continue this, you can do it at my blog (linked to name). For this thread, there is really no point in me responding to anything you have said.

  31. Don't Panic says

    <EyeRoll>Beyond the pale?</EyeRoll> You must be new here on Pharyngula. Really new. And to call me out for tenacity? Let me remove this mote that clouds mine eye; perhaps there’s something in yours? How much harping on astrounit — who’s entirety of argument I’m not necessarily defending (heck, I hardly even remember it at this point), only the bits I commented on — did you spew forth? Sorry, but I had a case of SIWOTI and I took a whack — even if it was someone who I’d probably agree with on most things.

    And no, I’m not going to bother commenting on your blog. Having seen you argue, I see no point given how quick you are to jump to (wrong) conclusions and your fallacious reasoning … and well, frankly, I don’t trust you, so anything I have to say to you will be on a blog hosted by a neutral party.

    Seriously, I really don’t have anything more to say to you. You made a claim, I refuted it, you got mad. Now you’ve redirected your wrath from astrounit to me. Read the third paragraph of my previous comment again. Now again. Repeat until you can write in a calm, rational manner about what I actually said and not what you’ve read into it.

  32. Don't Panic says

    Oh, shoot, maybe that was Aratina taking SteveL’s hint and asking me, instead of astrounit, up to her room (metaphorically, that is). Ugh. Sorry, I’ll just have to end it here. <small-voice>must resist the overwhelming impulse to respond, must resist</small-voice>.

  33. says

    Hm. Coming really late to the fray. Even the “non-fiction” (?) at stationhill is now missing.

    Someone is doing some serious track-covering. Makes me wonder if Ninoska ever went by the name Fatima….

    Also: @429: Tooth fairy!!! Ha!

  34. says

    This thread seems to have wandered off into irrelevant-land, but for anyone still reading: Ninoska finally hit the local media, yesterday and today: Ottawa Citizen and Capital Xtra (local GLBT tabloid). Nothing we haven’t already heard, except that the outside investigation cleared the college — IOW, we still really don’t know what the hell is going on.

  35. Current nursing student at Heritage says

    Don’t believe everything you read in print. The letter is fake and the college was cleared. Just a sad case of someone attempting to destroy the reputations of the people at the college. Unfortunatley it’s only going to hurt the reputation of the former student in the long run. I hope anyone having sent any negative e-mails to the college or anyone else regarding this feels as bad as they did mad and send an apology. It’s not been easy for our prefessors.

  36. Marie says

    Totally ridiculous to treat you that way!
    I am a straight nurse and… well… nobody need to know that I am straight! Your orientation has absolutely nothing to do with your competency! Fight it till the end! Who are the best cook, couturier, hairdresser… for that teacher? Totl lack of civism and education. No brain teacher!
    Where the heck is that teacher from? Uranus-Pluto-Saturn?
    Obviously, even with a education degree the common sense is not something that is coming with the certificate! OUtrageous!
    Hope you graduate soon!

  37. Ninoska Garcia-Ortiz says

    This will be the only statement I will be making. I became aware of this and other threads awhile ago. I have been reading the comments very attentively. The information that was posted online is not only INCOMPLETE, but also out of context. The “pics” of email screen caps that were posted online were part of a package of 180 pieces of documentation. Those pics were NEVER labeled or submitted as they were posted online. As the investigation involved numerous parties, and various allegations and accusations, certain measures were taken to protect those involved – including censorship of names and private information. Although the pics of the screen caps are not the original virgin, untainted representation of the email; it does however capture the essence of those recovered from the server.

    The college has conducted its own investigation, to which the conclusion was that they did not find any wrongdoing in their actions, attitude and position leading up to events, during events, and after events. Just as had the Nazi’s done an “investigation” regarding any wrongdoing on their part during World War 2, the conclusion of that investigation would have similar results to that done by the college. However, this is, has always been, and continues to be a private matter between a student and a college. Despite the sadistic turn of events, I have no desire to have a cyber trial. Even though I have no jurisdiction over the internet, I am nonetheless making the request that correspondence or communication of a harassing or disrespectful nature targeted at any parties involved in these events please be stopped. Those actions are not at all a representation of how this matter should be resolved.

    This is no longer about me and an academic appeal. My actions, respect, dignity and integrity will be scrutinized long after this is over, and any mistakes will resonate louder than right doings. I did not pick this battle, but when it is over, I cannot look back and have any shame or regret over my actions or involvement. I went into health care to alleviate the physical sorrow of those weakened by illness or disease. I have no desire to contribute more misery to our civilized savage world. Going public was the consequence of actions out of my control and not decided by me. I would never deny my orientation if asked, but in the same breath it was never something I went out of my way to advertise – especially in an academic setting. However, my sexual orientation is just that… MINE! For me to do with as I wish, when I wish, and where I wish.

    Actions and procedures will proceed as necessary and as appropriate – but one action I will not participate in is a cyber trial. Ninoska Garcia-Ortiz

  38. yitschar says


    i am a nursing student, and I was told by an professor that I will flunk next semester. I though the word fail from a professors mouth directly to a college student was forbidden, because this is a good way for colleges to loose money!!! and also the fact that it harasses the student.

    Does anyone have any insight on this?

  39. SteveL says

    If anybody’s still reading this, the College has a statement on their website:

    The [external] investigation revealed that neither the College nor its nursing department had exhibited behaviours that could in any way have been construed as harassment, discrimination or homophobia. It also found that the student’s expulsion from the nursing department was fully justified. Lastly, it found no proof to corroborate the student’s claim that a College instructor had sent her an inappropriate e-mail. The College reiterates its full confidence in the integrity of the instructor accused by the student.

  40. Karen says

    I worked with Tassy Kingsley and I do not believe that she did this. Not just because it’s homophobic, but because it’s so stupid! I believe something’s fishy here.

  41. Spasta says

    I went to Heritage College for 2 yrs, and though I have a hard time believing this perticular incident (for the many reasons you all pointed out), I must admit that there is a fair bit of discrimination in that school, however most cases had to do with language. Heritage is the only english speaking ‘cegep’ in that french speaking area. Much of the staff there could not be employed in any other college in Quebec because they only speak english…so they are stuck there and this make them fairly bitter. I’ve seen many students fail courses for no real reason. I wouldn’t recommend that college to anyone.