TRU Law student files human rights complaint

“Schoolyard bullying” and lack of accommodation leads to human rights complaint against TRU

DANIEL_GALLANT-BRADY

Daniel Gallant has filed a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal against TRU. (Sean Brady/The Omega)

In a series of six posts on his website, second-year TRU Law student Daniel Gallant outlined his complaints against the university that he has taken to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Gallant describes his treatment as “schoolyard bullying” and says he’s been the subject of personal attacks from some faculty and students.

Gallant suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and learning-related disabilities and asked for academic accommodations from the school to complete his studies.

Gallant has “deep-rooted damage” as a result of a traumatic childhood. He’s gone from living a life of violent crime and embracing white supremacy to reforming himself. He earned a master’s degree in social work from UNBC, which he described as part of his healing process. He also does work with various organizations and speaks out against radicalization and the right-wing violence he once practised.

Prior to his first year in law school, Gallant met with TRU’s Disability Services Office (DSO) to ensure that he would receive the accommodations he needs in order to complete his studies.

According to university policy, TRU is obligated to provide academic accommodations “to ensure an accessible and inclusive educational environment to the point of undue hardship” for students with disabilities.

The policy also states that “While the University as a whole will strive to provide appropriate and reasonable accommodations, students with disabilities are nevertheless responsible for meeting their course and program requirements.”

Gallant says an agreement was made with DSO, but that TRU didn’t follow through and that he didn’t receive the promised accommodations until just weeks before his final exam in one course, which accounted for most of his grade.

Gallant received a failing grade for the course and later appealed on the grounds that he wasn’t adequately accommodated. Following his appeal, Gallant said that he confirmed that he would not have to take the class again with the university registrar, but later received a letter from the dean stating that he would have to retake the course.

Now in his second year of law, Gallant has had to retake the class he failed last year, which he calls another barrier put up by the university in that it added to his workload.

In his Human Rights Tribunal complaint, Gallant is seeking a declaration that he was discriminated against and for there to be “structural change” at the university so that this doesn’t happen to other students.

“Rather they have created barriers and attacked me for raising these issues,” he wrote on his blog.

The posts were later password protected on Friday, Feb. 26. Gallant said he made the posts inaccessible because after speaking with someone in the law school, he no longer thought the posts were helping his situation and he didn’t want people to think that his experience at TRU was entirely bad.

“It’s not all bad,” Gallant told The Omega. “I do have relationships with some faculty that are supportive.”

Gallant also noted the support he’s received from DSO, which helped facilitate the diagnosis of his disabilities to begin with.

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