Omar Khadr has opted into the four-year nursing program at Red Deer College.
Red Deer College president Joel Ward confirmed Khadr applied and got accepted into the college’s Nursing, Bachelor of Science program starting September.
Khadr is an ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee who was captured by American soldiers at 15 back in 2002. Khadr pleaded guilty to an assault in Afghanistan in which a U.S. special forces soldier was killed but later said the only reason he pleaded guilty was to get out of American detention. He was back in Canada in 2010 and served the rest of his eight-year sentence. The Canadian government has apologized to Khadr for the torture he has suffered and he has been granted $10.5 million to settle his lawsuit.
Ward explained the college accepts about 8,000 students and values inclusiveness and diversity. College students are back to the books on Sept. 6.
“We don’t make judgments on history or people,” said Ward. “We are about students who come here and hope they have an opportunity to succeed in their program of studies and they find their next path and next chapter in life.”
Admission process for any student that’s interested in the college is the same and Khadr met all the requirements including past academic performance.
“It’s competitive and top students do very well so I’m guaranteed he met all the qualifications easily and probably near the top because it’s hard to get into that program,” he said.
Those students who go through the admission process which is available on the college’s website are ranked based on a number of categories.
“It’s based on previous academic performance and other things and that’s how you get accepted in the program so I wouldn’t have known actually that he applied until after he had been accepted.”
When asked to comment about people’s views on Khadr attending the college, Ward said it’s not his place to do so.
People took to the Red Deer Advocate Facebook page as soon as news broke Khadr wants to attend Red Deer College.
“I have no issues with it. At least he wants to learn and contribute to society. Everyone is always complaining about people who don’t contribute,” said a commenter.
“He’s a murderer and he’s a thief. He stole that money from the Canadian taxpayers,” said another Facebook commenter.