Professor in hearing-impaired uproar says student has ‘selective amnesia’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The professor involved in a controversy at Memorial University of Newfoundland says a hearing-impaired student who claims she failed to accommodate him has “selective amnesia.”

In a statement released to local radio station VOCM, history professor Ranee Panjabi says William Sears rebuffed her offer to discuss alternatives to the FM transmitter.

She says a 1996 agreement with the school allowing her to refuse to wear the device on religious grounds is binding.

Panjabi says Sears “regretfully displayed flashes of selective amnesia” as he accused her in the media of refusing to accommodate him.

She says her reputation is damaged and she has been vilified, threatened and subjected to “a witch hunt and a three-ring circus.”

Panjabi further blames the university’s Blundon Centre for Students with Disabilities for not properly informing her of the need for accommodation before Sears arrived at her class Sept. 10.

Sears is pursuing a complaint with the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission.

The university has apologized to Sears and says it’s reviewing how its accommodation procedures failed.

The Canadian Press