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A civility clause in a Queen’s University psychology class has sparked debate about whether professors should dock grades for bad behaviour, at a time when universities across North America struggle to limit disruptions and distractions in the classroom.
The Alma Mater Society at Queen’s says the clause, crafted by professor Jill Jacobson for her third-year psychology class, is a threat to academic freedom and would discourage students from speaking out in class lest they be accused of breaking the code. “Discriminatory, rude, threatening, harassing, disruptive, distracting and innappropriate behaviour and language will not be tolerated,” the clause reads. “The first offence will result in a 10% reduction in your final mark.”
Isabelle Duchaine, who serves as academic affairs commissioner for the AMS, said concerns about the clause had come through the student government’s confidential academic grievance centre in recent weeks.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen…
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