Education

Professor Says Students Who Cite Jordan Peterson Will Fail His Class

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Jordan Lancaster Contributor
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A University of Calgary professor has reportedly promised that students who cite Jordan Peterson in their classwork will fail his course. 

Ted McCoy, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Calgary, said in a now deleted tweet on Jan. 7 that rumors of him failing students who cite Jordan Peterson are true. 

McCoy, who describes himself as a “historian of prisons and punishment” and an “anti-fascist” on his Twitter page, has since locked his account. However, the post had already been archived and screenshots of the post were shared widely on social media. (RELATED: University Of Cambridge Rescinds Jordan Peterson Invitation After Backlash)

McCoy tweeted again on Jan. 8 and claimed that his previous tweet was a joke.

“Yesterday I made a joke about failing students in my courses if they cite an author I don’t agree with,” he said. “I regret that it implied that I don’t take seriously my students’ right to free expression.”

“I would never fail or penalize a student for a difference of political opinion,” he added.

Dr. Jordan Peterson was a psychology professor at Harvard University before moving to his current position as a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. Peterson has published over 130 scientific papers focusing on psychology and became a prominent public figure after his videos, interviews, and online lectures went viral in 2016. His work has been cited over 12,000 times. 

Peterson garnered controversy and media attention due to his opposition to political correctness, his stance against an amendment to include gender identity and gender expression in the Canadian Human Rights Act, and his views on white privilege, which he described as a “Marxist lie.” A reporter for the New York Times described Peterson as a “custodian of the patriarchy,” and a writer for The Guardian said his arguments were filled with “pseudo-facts” and “conspiracy theories.” (RELATED: Jordan Peterson On The Media Obsession To Cast Him As Alt-Right)

The University of Calgary said in a comment to the Daily Caller that they “take all concerns seriously” but “only have limited information at this time.” 

“Critical thinking and analysis are encouraged at UCalgary. The academic work of our students is assessed on merit and subject to official grading criteria and standards,” the university said. “UCalgary is fully committed to providing a rich teaching, learning and research environment and in ensuring our students have a rewarding student experience.”

UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect Professor McCoy’s most recent comments.