Steve Boyd firing: Teachers association and Change.org petition demonstrate support for reinstatement

"While Boyd did not hold an academic post at Queen’s, CAUT Executive Director David Robinson says universities have a special obligation to respect the exercise of free expression, within the law, of all members of the campus community." - Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)

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Steve Boyd at Canadian Cross Country Championships. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall/Athletics Illustrated
It appears that not all athletes and coaches – love him or not – agree with the firing of Steve Boyd from Queen’s University as track and field and cross-country coach.

Athletes and coaches from across the country have voiced their opinion against the firing, whether they agreed with his arguments or not. It’s a case of free speech.

Freedom of speech was quashed when Boyd was fired a week ago.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) have released a statement indicating that they disagree with his firing. Boyd did not hold a position as a teacher, but they stuck up for the free speech argument.

Friday, he was removed from the OUA Indoor Track and Field Championships by security at York University. Apparently, the facility is in the jurisdiction of the City of Toronto and therefore the university had no right to have him removed. Boyd was asked to leave by security. Security also threatened to call police if he did not leave.

Separately, a Change.org petition was created to reinstate Boyd as a coach at Queen’s University. The initial goal of 2500 signatures was surpassed and is now at nearly 3000 with a new goal of 5000 signatures.

Below is the statement from the CAUT:

Statement on Dismissal of Steve Boyd From Queen’s University

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is expressing concern over the termination of Steve Boyd from his position as track and field head coach at Queen’s University.

Boyd says he was fired for speaking out against the University of Guelph’s handling of misconduct allegations against former coach Dave Scott-Thomas.

While Boyd did not hold an academic post at Queen’s, CAUT Executive Director David Robinson says universities have a special obligation to respect the exercise of free expression, within the law, of all members of the campus community.

“Free expression is crucial to the university,” states Robinson. “Academic freedom cannot thrive in an environment where free expression is suppressed.”

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