“I’m Not Homophobic, But…” Kicked Out of the Nursing Program for Being a Lesbian

I am a second year Nursing student. One week after sending receiving this email from my clinical instructor, she failed me in my Pediatrics clinical rotation. The official infractions were cited as “wrinkled uniform, rudeness and disrespect.” To fail clinical, means you fail the class. You fail the class; you’re out of the program. On December 12, 2008 I was permitted to write my final exam, leading me to believe that I had succeeded in stomaching the nauseatingly difficult semester. However, at my clinical evaluation, which took place right after the exam, I was informed that I had failed clinical. Since clinical itself was not worth a numeric grade, it was just “pass” or “fail”, my grade was dropped from 92% to 50% - to reflect the fail. I commenced the appeals process immediately, and at first nobody was interested in allowing me to plead my case. It wasn’t until I sent the appeal to the Ministry of Education, and they contacted the school, that the College realized my dismissal from the program was based on much more than academics. The college decided that it would do an internal investigation. This internal “investigation” has dragged on now for four months. Over the past few weeks the college has become sadistic in their actions. When one of the emails was posted on reddit.com, both the College and the clinical instructor were inundated with hate emails. The college sent me a “Cease & Desist” letter, threatening legal action if I continued to “[spread] information that is false, defamatory, or that could cause prejudice to anyone at the college.” However, after sending this “gag order”, the school felt that it was their right to inform my Nursing class that I “suing the school for homophobia” (at that point, it was just an academic appeal, which is supposed to be confidential). I will never deny my sexual orientation; however, it’s also not something I feel the need to go out of my way to inform others about, especially if it’s not relevant. I was not “out” to everyone in my class, as the topic or opportunities never presented themselves in the academic setting. The school felt it was their responsibility to “out” me. Events culminated when the College demanded I hand over my hard drives, laptops, and desk top computers (all belonging to me). I realized that the reason the appeal was dragging on was because the College knew the clinical teacher is in fact a racist, homophobic bigot, but tenureship and a union gave her immunity – including the right to discriminate. Therefore, it was vital that I somehow be discredited. The demands, the humiliation, the degradation, the dehumanization was only going to end when I was discredited, or when I decided to walk away. The realization was overwhelming and suffocating. I attempted, but failed to commit suicide by slashing my arms. Due to being in hospital, I was unable to meet with their investigator for a second time. I had requested the right to attend this meeting accompanied by someone, and it was denied. When they were informed that I was not able to attend the meeting, they demanded a Medical certificate with a diagnosis, [which is never detailed in a doctor’s note (privacy, confidentiality)], for their “investigation” to proceed. I gave them the medical certificate, which they stated it was necessary to have a diagnosis clearly indicated. Their insistence and persistence confirmed my suspicion that the only reason they wanted the diagnosis (suicide attempt) was so it could be used against me. I refused to acknowledge my reason for being in hospital, and demanded that attention be refocused on my initial complaint. An issue that should have been resolved long ago is now cascading into other areas of my life. Yesterday morning I found out I was denied admission to the College I was requesting a transfer to. It is the first time in my whole life I have ever been denied admission to any post secondary school. The reason for being denied admission was cited as “weak grades” – which on my transcript laced with 80s and 90s, the only weak grade I have is the 50 from pediatrics. I have yet to receive from the College a response or conclusion of the investigation, and my appeal.

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