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Canada Dalhousie dentistry whistleblower, still suspended, says school blames him

Ryan Millet, right, a Dalhousie University dentistry student, arrives for a disciplinary hearing with his lawyer Bruce MacIntosh in Halifax on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Millet was a member of a Facebook group where misogynistic comments were posted about classmates at the university's dentistry school. MacIntosh said Millet was unfairly punished by the school because he had encouraged other members of the private group to remove comments he thought were offensive.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

The Dalhousie dentistry student who said he blew the whistle on misogyny among fellow students now says the school is unfairly blaming him for "adverse publicity" over the incident.

According to Ryan Millet's lawyer, a university officer argued during his disciplinary hearing that instead of telling a female dental student that her name was mentioned in secret online posts, he should have gone straight to school administration.

Mr. Millet is the only dental student in his class who remains suspended from working in the Halifax university's dental clinic, though he could return to class shortly. He is awaiting a decision by Dalhousie's academic standards committee, which is reviewing his case after he declined to participate in a restorative justice process along with the other 12 members of the Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen Facebook group.

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Posts from the closed social media group, including jokes about drugging women with chloroform, prompted a national outcry after they were leaked to media in early December.

Mr. Millet believes "that there is an underlying attitude among some within the Dalhousie community that he is partially to blame for the… reputational harm" that Dalhousie has suffered, according to a letter sent to media on Tuesday by his lawyer, Bruce MacIntosh.

Mr. Millet says he didn't leak the Facebook screenshots and shouldn't be held responsible for any tarnishing of Dalhousie's image. He also takes "strong objection" to the idea that he should have bypassed the female classmate.

A university spokesman would only say Tuesday that the committee's review of Mr. Millet is ongoing.

Among the Facebook posts, one poll asked members to vote on which classmate they would like to have "hate" sex with.

Mr. Millet said in January that it was shortly after a particular post that he told the woman in his class she was a target. He said he allowed her to look at the group for herself to gather evidence for a complaint, and he quit the group.

After reviewing evidence, the committee conducting Mr. Millet's hearing read a submission in his defence, followed by a rebuttal by a Dalhousie "prosecuting officer," then a reply by Mr. Millet.

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The prosecuting officer testified that Mr. Millet "may have done the right thing by taking issue with the hateful polls, but did the wrong thing by allowing the targeted victim access to his Facebook pages," according to Mr. MacIntosh.

Mr. Millet's lawyer said the female student has asked for Mr. Millet's clinic suspension to be lifted.

Aside from taking issue with Mr. Millet's decision to alert the classmate, the prosecuting officer also argued that his "mere membership and participation" in the Facebook group justified the suspension.

Dalhousie announced Monday that it will allow the 12 Facebook group members taking part in restorative justice to make a conditional return to the clinic after a two-month suspension.

Mr. Millet's lawyer said he hopes to receive his own written judgment this week. He has asked for his suspension to be expunged, "as if it never occurred."

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