Monday, November 27, 1995
Ryerson suspends its prostitute profRyerson officials have suspended and banished from the school part-time professor Gerald Hannon pending an investigation into his "alleged conduct and activities."
Ryerson Polytechnic University president Claude Lajeunesse issued a statement last night announcing Hannon's suspension.
Hannon, 51, who advocates sex between adults and children, told The Toronto Sun last week he supplements his income by prostitution.
In a statement last night, Dr. Michael Dewson, vice-president of faculty and staff affairs said:
"While under suspension, Mr. Hannon is to have no contact with his students and will not be permitted on campus without my authorization or that of the dean of applied arts."
Lajeunesse's statement says the university will investigate whether Hannon's conduct is unbefitting his status as a teacher.
Hannon, who teaches a course in freelance journalism, told the Saturday Sun he started in his sideline about eight years ago.
He was already under investigation amid controversy two weeks ago over brining up his views on adult-child sex in class.
He also told CBC Newsworld over a week ago that he witnessed sexual activity between a man and a boy in the '70s.
And in 1994 he wrote in an article, "I could never understand ... how children's hockey differed from an organized child-sex ring ..."
Metro Police looked into Hannon's admission about witnessing sex, but say there's not enough evidence to pursue a criminal investigation.
Dewson said the decision to suspend the popular teacher was made yesterday, but he wouldn't comment on why he was suspended.
Hannon didn't answer calls last night. His answering machine indicates he's "taking the weekend off" from speaking with the media.
Students in Hannon's freelance writing class continued to rally around their teacher.
"He's a great teacher, and this (Hannon's prostitution) wasn't even mentioned in the slightest in class," said student Adam Hunt.
He said Ryerson isn't ready for a prof like Hannon, who isn't in the mainstream.
"How many old white men with two kids and a mortgage do we have to be taught by?" he asked.
Mike Onesi, another student in the class, agreed the school owes Hannon support, but said he's not surprised by the suspension.
"It'd be great if the university stood behind him," Onesi said, "but I guess they felt they have to do it because the public can't accept a part-time hooker/teacher at a university."
Onesi said suspending Hannon during the term before they have their final grades and assignments hurts the students.
Dewson said students' grades would not be affected by the suspension. "The chair of the school of journalism will make arrangments," he said.
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Photo: Head shot of Gerald Hannon
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