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Author Topic: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy  (Read 2952 times)

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Offline Macabre

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How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« on: May 10, 2013, 12:08:27 PM »
http://crunchycook.com/2013/05/08/how-i-was-kicked-out-of-college-because-of-my-allergy/

I found this interesting and disturbing. 

I'm not sure who DSS is.  I equate DSS with Department of Social Services, and I'm pretty sure that's not what the author was referring to. 

I'm left wondering what the recourse was for her with OCR or other entities. 

I do think the author was being overly dramatic and not helpful to her cause by writing:

Quote
Saying Goodbye to My Academic Dreams

Without even a little support from my previously helpful school and no access to DSS, I was basically barred from the university because of my allergy.  It was unsafe for me to attend my classes, or even go to school to take my midterms.  And my school had made it clear that they weren’t even going to assist in helping to protect my life, so I dropped my classes.  And my program of study (the only one of its kind in the area, my dream degree).  And left the University of Washington Tacoma completely.

I would’ve been a third-generation Husky alumni when I graduation; my grandma and mom were so excited for me.  Now, because my degree was so specific, I’ll have to start back over with 200-level course requirements, which will likely add at least another year, if not two, to my prospective graduation date.  And I have to transfer to another university when I’d wanted to finish not only my BA at my school but also do my grad work there.  Now I wonder if I’ll ever even finish my four-year-degree let alone grad school.  My transcript was beautiful—high honors all around—now I’ll have to explain to future prospective schools why I got all “W’s” (withdrawn) this quarter.


While what has happened to this student is absolutely horrible, it's not the end of the world--though it might seem that way right now.  There are many ways to get to point B from point A.  Going to college near one's hometown is not necessary (though she may have some compelling reasons for staying in the area, such as an aging parent, etc.). Most students take core classes the first year, most of which really should be transferrable.  Having a transcript with Ws is quite easily explainable--again, not the end of the world.

That said, for a chancellor to assume the role of 504C basically is kind of frightening.  Okay--I'm having a hard time seeing the chancellor at my university actually doing this--and it had 6,500 students at the time.  But assuming that this is what the chancellor meant, basically bypassing more objective and more knowledgeable entities, that's not good at all.

You'd think in light of the recent Lesley ruling that universities would take notice.  Of course, that may exactly be the reason this university zipped itself closed to this student. 

If I were this student, I would file a complaint with OCR.  I would think OCR would be quite interested in this. 
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

twinturbo

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 12:10:20 PM »
Disability, Student Services, somewhere in there would be my guess.

ETA: Disability Support Services per first paragraph.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 12:14:17 PM by twinturbo »

Offline CMdeux

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 12:26:50 PM »
I'm betting that DOJ is the place where a complaint would get filed.

I'd be all over Patty Murray to be making waves at Justice over it, though-- and demanding answers about disability rights in higher ed settings.

Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

twinturbo

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 02:39:47 PM »
I don't want to do too much pseudos cybersleuthing here, mainly because it's another school, but according to the UW Tacoma DSS their system works much differently than what DH's school does. DH's school student support takes care of everything and sends DS either in writing or email what accommodation the student needs. DH prefers this because it's simpler, he doesn't want or need to know what the nature of the disability is, he wants to know what accommodation he needs to provide. In a way this is good to know because as a faculty spouse I know just how much more time the UW Tacoma system would take from DH in any given term or semester because (no offense to UW Tacoma) but that's a horribly inefficient system if it shifts the burden mainly to the profs. I read it out to DH and he gave it a thumbs down.

Offline CMdeux

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 02:50:23 PM »
I agree, actually-- BUT-- there are many facets to what accommodations are reasonable and feasible.  That system often resulted in fundamental problems for me, my department and students alike because of the nature of our budgeting process, and their lack of understanding of what was educationally best-practices for us in lab coursework, etc.  (Not much way for students to do a lab practicum with "extra time" and a "scribe" at the testing center,  if you KWIM.)  So there were definitely instances in which the student and I had to work out something that made SENSE in the context of my class and their needs.


Still doesn't make it right for an administrator to strip a student's rights and declare him/her "nondisabled" suddenly.

Wow.

Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

twinturbo

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 05:47:06 PM »
Do you ever get the feeling there's a need to Google doc some of this? I've been thinking about it.

Offline Macabre

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 10:16:12 PM »
I just feel awful for this student. I think what I typed above sounded callous. I did not mean to be. I think this student has suffered an injustice. I wonder if she had a 504 plan in high school.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline CMdeux

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 12:52:00 AM »
It certainly sounds like it.  She basically did everything by the book, from what she's stated.

Her problem may ultimately boil down to-- what she needs and what is "reasonable" may not intersect.  Unfortunately, this is where higher ed (and employment) part ways with Section 504 and compulsory K-12 education.

Still, I think that her due process rights under the law were definitely stripped, and that alone is a procedural issue, or should be.

No ONE person, lacking understanding of the meaning of the person's disabling condition, has the ability to decide yes/no without recourse-- much less to declare someone "not disabled" as has evidently (?) occurred here.

Unfortunately, we're all too familiar with "Yeah, sucks to be you... but it's not like you can DO anything about it.. bu-bye now..."

 :-/
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline ajinnj

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 08:15:36 AM »
The story hit the higher ed press:

Inside Higher Ed
A student at the University of Washington at Tacoma says she was forced to withdraw because the university changed the way it dealt with her severe nut allergy, ABC News reported. The student said that, last year, the university posted "peanut/nut-free classroom" signs on classrooms she used. But this year, the university didn't use the signs but said it would send a letter to all students in the classes asking them not to bring nuts. The student says this approach is not sufficient. But the university says that it can't assure the absence of nuts, and was trying to take reasonable steps to minimize the risk.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2013/05/14/student-says-nut-allergy-forced-her-out-college#ixzz2TGxBD59m



twinturbo

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 09:07:46 AM »
Honestly, I think the best answer here is neither social nor traditional media unless she's already exhausted every last institutional recourse. That's assuming this has all been documented for the purposes of process.

Also, not sure if this is a teen thing more of a school thing IMHO.

Offline CMdeux

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 09:45:13 AM »
Yeah, there's crossover for sure-- because this IS a young-adult thing, and it is a different subsecction of ADA.

So not strictly like public education the way it works in K through 12-- more like workplace issues.  "Reasonable" most certainly does apply.

Well, kinda.  Because a place of public accommodation that recieves public FUNDING (as public universities 100% do) has a bit different obligations than a private college would.



Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

twinturbo

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 10:03:36 AM »
It could passively alert OCR or DOJCRD in theory.

Offline Macabre

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 11:37:48 AM »
As far as placenta of the thread, it is far more pertinent to those of us with teens right now whobarenstaring college in the face. I assume before too long we'll create a college child board under schools, but I didn't want this to get lost in schools now as other threads that deal with college often get buried.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline Macabre

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Re: How I was kicked out of college because of my allergy
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 11:38:53 AM »
Oh that's. funny autocorrect. Just seeing it.

Placement.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts