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Former Univ. of Oregon Law Student Sues School
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Summary: After posting an allegedly violent message on Facebook that resulted in a suspension, a UO law student has sued the school for discrimination.

A former student of the law school at the University of Oregon is suing the school for allegedly not accommodating his learning disability. Former student, Ehvan Schectman, filed his lawsuit against the school in the U.S. District Court in Eugene.

  
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In the lawsuit, Schectman claims the school and assistant dean of student affairs, Nicole Commissiong, discriminated and retaliated against him, a violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The suit also notes violations of the federal Rehabilitation Act.

Schectman claims the school denied him special accommodations and then deemed him a threat for using Facebook to publicize the matter. He is seeking unspecified monetary damages and court orders prohibiting the school from discriminating against other students with learning disabilities.

The student claims he attended UO and two other schools as an undergraduate that gave him a variety of special accommodations based on a psychologists’ finding in 2009 that he has learning disabilities related to writing and math. He was accepted to the law school at UO in 2015 under the understanding that he would receive the same accommodations he had as an undergrad.

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Prior to the final exams of the fall semester, Schectman claims that Commissiong changed the accommodation allowing him to use a computer with spell and grammar check for tests. The suit claims her reasoning for the change was that it was not fair to the other students that had to complete written exams by hand. He was allowed to use a manual typewriter, which he claims doesn’t address his learning disability.

Another change to his accommodations that Commissiong and one of his professors agreed on was stopping the tutoring services he was receiving. The changes left Schectman feeling “betrayed and depressed about the undeniable discrimination and retaliation he was facing.” He took to Facebook to post a message about his frustrations “in the slang he typically uses when communicating with his similarly-aged friends online, intending to express his feelings of frustration, betrayal and anger and also a deep determination to fight for his legal rights.”



About an hour after posting the message, he removed the post and his Facebook profile but a law school employee had already seen the message and took a copy to the school. Schectman was temporarily suspended for being “a threat to students and staff at the University of Oregon.” The suspension was lifted after he met with UO administrator Sandy Weintraub and a psychologist.

Schectman claims he was left depressed and humiliated by the situation and “dread that he was being singled out for asserting his legal rights.” He withdrew from the law school at the end of the semester since he claims he had been “branded as a dangerous threat to the law school community.”

What do you think Schectman said in his Facebook post to cause his suspension? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about special accommodations in law school, read these articles:

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org



 

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