Student dragged from Western University class for repeatedly violating COVID-19 vaccine policy

Click to play video: 'Unvaccinated Western University student expelled after refusing to follow COVID protocols'
Unvaccinated Western University student expelled after refusing to follow COVID protocols
WATCH ABOVE: A second-year engineering student at Western University has been expelled for refusing to follow COVID-19 protocols. As Seán O’Shea reports, it followed multiple efforts to get the student to comply – Nov 19, 2021

A former student of Western University says he’s been expelled from the school after video emerged of him being dragged out of a classroom when he repeatedly violated the school’s COVID-19 vaccine policy.

The student makes up a very small portion of students who’ve been removed from the university for violating the policy.

As of Friday, “28 students (of a total of about 37,000) have been placed on involuntary leave due to non-compliance,” Western said in a statement to Global News.

“We’ve dealt with one individual regarding non-compliance requiring on-campus intervention.”

Western’s policy requires anyone on campus, including visitors, to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of an approved exemption. Those who hold an approved exemption must also be tested for the virus twice a week.

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Harry Wade, 22, has identified himself as the student being dragged out of a class in a video that’s been shared widely on social media.

Prior to the video, he says he was arrested by Western Special Constable Service (WSCS), Western’s on-campus police service, for the first time on Nov. 10.

The arrest took place outside of class, according to Wade, after he saw the constables who appeared ready to arrest him.

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Wade said the constables then informed him he was trespassing on Western’s campus and asked him to leave.

“I refused to do so because I was attending class, I had paid to be on campus and was merely trying to attend my class that day at that hour,” Wade told Global News.

“They said I couldn’t be there and I insisted I should and they arrested me on spot and they detained me inside one of their offices.”

His second arrest took place the following day and was published on an Instagram account popular with Western students.

In the video, WSCS officers can be seen handcuffing an unmasked Wade as they escort him out of class.

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“I made sure the class wasn’t guarded this time to make sure I’d get into the class,” Wade told Global News.

Wade said upon his arrival to class, his professor had called WSCS with officers arriving about 20 minutes later.

“(The officers) asked if I would come out and I insisted they conduct themselves before the class,” Wade said.

“They told me that I’m under arrest and I said I wasn’t going to comply and they said, ‘fine, we’ll have to cuff you here.'”

Earlier this week, another video was posted to the Instagram account, showing WSCS officers carrying Wade by his arms and legs as they remove him from the class.

“At this point, I’ve been expelled, and that will last for the next five years, as far as I understand, and that includes every university in Ontario, if every university decides to honour that expulsion.”

In its statement to Global News, Western said it couldn’t speak to individual cases due to privacy legislation, however it did note that the university “takes an incremental approach to responding to individuals who are non-compliant.”

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“Individuals deemed to be non-compliant with Western’s vaccination policy were given ample opportunity to provide proof of vaccination to the university including multiple phone calls, emails, text messages and warnings,” Western’s statement added.

A spokesperson for the Western University Students’ Council (USC) said the student-led group is not privy to individual incidents due to privacy reasons, but noted an overwhelming support for the school’s vaccine policy.

“The vast majority of students have provided the University Students’ Council with positive feedback about Western University’s vaccination policy,” said Ziyana Kotadia, the USC’s vice president of university affairs.

“If students have concerns about the policy and/or its implementation, we encourage them to reach out to us to elevate those concerns with decision makers at the university.”

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