My question involves education law in the State of: Massachusetts
Hi helpful people,
I'm a student who was going to school in Massachusetts, and left just before the end of my 4th semester. I had been diagnosed with depression and ADD in college, and took a leave to address these issues, on good terms with my school.
I qualified for, and took, a medical break, where the dean from our school emailed me with terms to agree to, outlining expectations for my time away, and asked me to respond, agreeing to the contract. I never emailed my agreement to the terms. The dean seems to have not noticed (this was 18 months ago), and I've been treated as away on a medical break, though I'm fairly sure I never signed anything, and didn't electronically agree as I was "supposed to".
Her letter from my time of leaving, 18 months ago, outlined that I was to take 2+ classes at a 4-year college, and continue seeing mental health professionals during my time away. The email ended with the ominous statement "Please acknowledge your agreement with the terms of your Medical Withdrawal by responding to this e-mail; if you do not respond, you may be ineligible to request readmission."
Again, I never responded to this email, so I'm not bound to any contracts, I essentially just left, on good terms, where everyone "thinks" I'm on a Medical break.
Now's where the not-so-fun stuff begins.
I applied for readmission after 1 semester, and I was told that I could not return to school, since I had not gotten psychological or neuropsychological testing.
A semester later, I had gotten the neuropsychological testing done, but the head of their Mental Health department wanted a "full" printout of my psychological testing, instead of the one I sent in. So for the second semester in a row, I was denied access to a college education, because my school wants me to get more medical tests. I've seen that in the ADA, it says that employers cannot require someone to get medical tests due to their disability. I'd assume the same holds for colleges and their students.
Ponder that for a moment, I was DENIED an educational experience on the basis of my (mental) medical condition. The ADA enables students with ADD to get extra time on tests; wouldn't denying someone an entire year of college education, on the basis of their mental illness, be considered a way more serious violation of the rights of the disabled?
The only way I can see them "covering their asses" is with the electronic agreement (which, again, I never submitted!)
A) I think they have been illegally discriminating on the basis of my disability, under the assumption that I entered a contract, which I did not.
B) If I sue them, what could I gain? Readmission? Money for illegally denying me a year's worth of education? Would they fight it or just let me back in, or settle out of court with money?
C) If I sue them, can they deny my readmission, since I never responded to the email? If they're clearly intending to let me back "if I do X, Y, Z", can they go back on that just because I sue them for an ADA violation?