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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I had a Stroke which left my left side paralyzed. I am taking

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I had a Stroke which left my left side paralyzed. I am taking classes at a Community College. February, 25, 2013 The English Professor handed the class a blank piece of paper and another paper with directions. I started to fold the bottom of paper 1", then fold 2" with my left hand. I could no longer do the rest as it turned out we were making an airplane. I told Professor that I could not finish as I only have my left hand. She looked at Guy sitting next to me and said "you can help him". He replied "No, I have my own to do". Due to my post traumatic stress disorder, I kept trying. I sat in front of class facing Professor. She just kept watching me try, the PTSD kicked in due to the fact I could not do it. I ended up yelling and crying outside classroom, I kept yelling "I want to die, I do not want to live crippled anymore. I left the classroom. I talked to Disability services. The interim Director told me Professor handled the situation correctly as she accommodated me by telling another student to help me. He is in his early 20's, I am 45. The Professor told Disability interim director that all the students came up to her after class and Stated they were scared. I ended up dropping class, I got a "W". Now it is affecting my Financial aid due to the Student academic performance. I did not finish the attempted units. The College never talked with the Professor, they made me feel as it was my fault.
Was this proper for the College to allow a Professor to treat a student this way? I kept emailing school. After about 6 people unwilling to help me; I cc,d the Superintendent/President of the college. Immediately the next day the Dean of Students contacted me stating she had talked to people and investigated. She wants to meet with me Thursday, May, 9th to discuss her findings and offer options. I want them to take the "W" away and make it as if I dropped the class February, 10 as if I never took the class. I do not feel I was treated fairly as a crippled student. I am scared to talk to Dean as I am afraid she will make it my fault again. I did talk to Dept Education civil rights. I was told to fill out forms. The civil rights attorney said he could not give me any advice on phone, but said he felt I have a case. Do I? and what would you suggest I should do in meeting with Dean? I cannot lose my financial aid. I live on SSDI and am trying to learn a career I can do with left side paralysis.
Please advise.

Thank You-


Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am so genuinely sorry to hear that you had t go through that. Frankly I find the school's behavior in this situation most shocking and extremely inappropriate, to a veteran no less. Arguably the professor's behavior is not really a violation since she did provide an option to accommodate, but since you can most directly point to this act as being the cause of this deep affect to you, and their further refusal in accommodating your reasonable requests (I mean the school, not the teacher), it becomes a situation where arguably a claim for discrimination based on disability can be made. Furthermore, if your professor knew that you could not perform the task that she provided, it becomes almost intentionally cruel to do so. That is what I personally find as seriously questionable and also what may be legally actionable as well.

I would suggest that you demand that the school permit you to work one-on-one with a different instructor and remove the W with an actual grade. That is also potentially reasonable as an accommodation. Otherwise consider retaining counsel and pursuing them for this behavior. This is wrong and this therefore is actionable.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you!


Basically, in this type of situation, the school is held liable for my disability rights. Not the Professor? could this be why when I cc'd the Superintendent/President of the College he got the Dean of Student services involved so quick? This has been going on since end of February. When Superintendent received my email Monday morning, he acted immediately.


What should I tell dean when she tells me the school is not at fault?

You are most welcome, Robert. Glad to help!

Technically the professor is the agent of the school, so if she makes an error the school is liable. But to me it appears that the real violation took place after the event when they failed to even discuss this situation with you in a serious manner. Your effect to the class may have been unexpected and unforeseen but it was in retrospect understandable, something that the school failed to even acknowledge. That is why I see the school as potentially liable.

The dean is obviously going to defend the school, but ultimately this shouldn't be about fault as that never resolves the issue, it should be finding ways of getting this resolved to the benefit of both. Threats from you should only come if they refuse to take action or responsibility--then contacting the media even would be a wise option to consider. But unless you want a fight, going in to find common ground would be more practical and prudent, something that you can also communicate to the dean.

Good luck.

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