Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Developments-Universities and Other Institutions of Higher Learning

Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Developments-Universities and Other Institutions of Higher Learning

Article excerpt

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Dyslexic student sued medical school alleging inadequate testing procedures. Under the Rehabilitation Act, reasonable accommodations are required when a disabled student would otherwise be denied meaningful access to the university. The student requested he be allowed to supplement his multiple choice answers on exams with either an essay or with responses to oral questions. Held: For the medical school. The medical school had complied with the Act by providing a private room, an audiotape of the questions, and extra time to take the exam. Further, the student failed to demonstrate that his requested testing scheme was actually related to his dyslexia. Stern v. Univ. of Osteopathic Med. and Health Sciences, 220 F.3d 906 (8th Cir. 2000).

Student sued medical school for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The student was denied admission to medical school when he failed to meet GPA requirements for admission under a program designed for the economically disadvantaged. Held: For the medical school. The court determined that the student's learning disability did not restrict his ability to learn in comparison to the average person in the general population; therefore, the student was not "disabled" for purposes of the Act. Since the student had a history of scholastic success despite the learning disability and test showed that he had an I.Q. in the "superior range," the court determined that the student was not disabled for purposes of the Act. Betts v. Rectors & Visitors of the Univ. of Virginia, 113 F. Supp. 2d 970 (W.D. Va. 2000).

Disabled students sued college and administrator alleging failure to reasonably accommodate her disabilities during overseas program. Student claimed the college and administrator violated the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. She also claimed breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation for not adequately providing for her needs during the program. Held: For the student. The student's claims may be heard by the court against the college and the administrator because the decision will depend on fact issues. Bird v. Lewis & Clark College, 104 F. Supp. 2d 1271 (Or. 2000).

Law student sued university and board of trustees alleging fraud, breach of contract, tortious breach of contract, negligence, unjust enrichment, and violation of due process. The law student was dismissed from the university for failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average. Held: For the university and board of trustees. The student was not entitled to conduct further discovery prior to the trial court's summary judgment ruling. The student had no viable tort or contract claim for the university's alleged failure to provide him with an adequate legal education. In addition, the student's right to due process was not violated by his dismissal. Thus, neither the university nor the board of trustees were liable. Bittle v. Oklahoma City Univ., 6 RM 509 (Okla. Civ. App. 2000).

Fraternity appealed district court's dismissal of its case against university for violating its members' constitutional right to freedom of association. Several members of fraternity were arrested after police raided the fraternity house and found drugs. The university revoked the fraternity's status as a recognized student organization. The fraternity sued because the university later failed to reinstate the fraternity Held: For the university. The court found that the fraternity's size, lack of selectivity, and lack of seclusion in its activities showed a lack of the characteristics of a constitutionally protected intimate association. Also, the fraternity could not show it met the minimum requirements of expressive association. Furthermore, the court found that even if it had, the university's actions would not have significantly affected the fraternity's right of expressive association. …

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