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Last Dalhousie University dentistry student to return after suspension

Dalhousie suspended 13 fourth-year male students for allegedly participating in a Facebook page that contained sexually violent content


 

HALIFAX – The last dentistry student who was suspended from clinical practice at Dalhousie University over posts made on Facebook is being allowed to return under a number of conditions, but a lawyer for Ryan Millet says he has been found guilty of professional misconduct by an academic standards class committee.

Lawyer Bruce MacIntosh says in an email statement Friday that before Ryan Millet can return to clinical practice he must admit his guilt “through submission to a variety of remedial initiatives, including private counselling, written essays and public lectures.”

“Until these initiatives are fulfilled to the satisfaction of the committee, Ryan will not be permitted to graduate.”

MacIntosh says Millet is considering his legal options.

“Any exercise of legal options of appeal will almost inevitably lead to the loss of his academic year,” says the statement. “He has some difficult choices to make.”

The school in Halifax suspended 13 fourth-year male students about two months ago for allegedly participating in a Facebook page that contained sexually violent content about female classmates.

The university announced Monday that 12 of the 13 students were allowed to return to clinical practice under several conditions including ongoing participation in a restorative justice program and participation in classes on communication and professionalism. The school didn’t identify the 13th student, but Millet’s legal team said he was the only student who wasn’t allowed to return to clinical practice.

Lawyers for Millet argued at a disciplinary hearing in January that he should have his clinical privileges reinstated and his academic record restored because of his role in bringing the Facebook group to light.

MacIntosh has contended that Millet, a married father of three young children, forced the removal of some Facebook entries he found disrespectful and alerted one woman who was named in the posts.

Millet’s lawyers say the restorative justice program that the 12 other men in his class are taking was made available to him if he admitted to unprofessionalism, but he was not invited to continue to participate after refusing to acknowledge his guilt.

But Dalhousie spokesman Brian Leadbetter said in an email Friday that the 13th student was never excluded from the restorative justice process.

“Acknowledgment of guilt in other processes was not a pre-requisite for participation in restorative justice,” said Leadbetter. “The 13th student is welcome to join the restorative justice process at any time.”

Leadbetter added that the student could be back in the clinic by the end of next week under conditions including close supervision and education on professionalism. Leadbetter did not comment on the condition of admitting guilt.

According to the CBC, members of the Facebook group voted on which woman they’d like to have “hate” sex with and joked about using chloroform on women. The CBC said in another post, a woman is shown in a bikini with a caption that says, “Bang until stress is relieved or unconscious (girl).”

On Monday, university president Richard Florizone said the school’s academic standards class committee made the decision to reinstate the other 12 students after reviewing the online posts, meeting each of the students and receiving reports and legal submissions.

The school said members of the public will be asked whether they would prefer not to be treated by one of the men who were previously suspended. If a patient chooses not to be treated by any of the men, they will be assigned another student.

The 12 students who had their clinical privileges reinstated also expressed remorse in an open letter to the community on Monday. The university posted the joint statement by 29 members of the fourth-year dentistry class on its website, which included statements by both the men and women in the class.


 

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