automatic homophobe, not fit for masters degree: talked openly with other students about her views on homosexuality, wind of such got back to faculty---remediation plan to force her to change her beliefs, force her to go to gay pride parade for re-education and report back to program heads on her new positive beliefs about homosexuality..
she was told by superior to refer gay student to another counselor, which she did, yet was still kicked out..('you MUST not be in opposition to homosexuality to recieve a degree from our institution', 'must change your personal views').
did college offer to refund her tuition? (don't ask stupid questions)
Lawsuit Claims College Ordered Student to Alter Religious Views on Homosexuality, Or Be Dismissed
By Joshua Rhett Miller
Published July 27, 2010
Alliance Defense Fund
Jennifer Keeton, 24, has been pursuing a master's degree in school counseling at Augusta State University since last year, but school officials have informed her that she'll be dismissed from the program unless she alters her "central religious beliefs on human nature and conduct," according to a civil complaint filed last week.
A graduate student in Georgia is suing her university after she was told she must undergo a remediation program due to her beliefs on homosexuality and transgendered persons.
The student, Jennifer Keeton, 24, has been pursuing a master's degree in school counseling at Augusta State University since 2009, but school officials have informed her that she'll be dismissed from the program unless she alters her "central religious beliefs on human nature and conduct," according to a civil complaint filed last week.
"[Augusta State University] faculty have promised to expel Miss Keeton from the graduate Counselor Education Program not because of poor academic showing or demonstrated deficiencies in clinical performance, but simply because she has communicated both inside and outside the classroom that she holds to Christian ethical convictions on matters of human sexuality and gender identity," the 43-page lawsuit reads.
Keeton, according to the lawsuit, was informed by school officials in late May that she would be asked to take part in a remediation plan due to faculty concerns regarding her beliefs pertaining to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.
"The faculty identifies Miss Keeton's views as indicative of her improper professional disposition to persons of such populations," the lawsuit reads.
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"The Counselor Education Program is grounded in the core principles of the American Counseling Association and the American School Counselor Association, which defines the roles and responsibilities of professional counselors in its code of ethics," the statement read. "The code is included in the curriculum of the counseling education program, which states that counselors in training have the same responsibility as professional counselors to understand and follow the ACA Code of Ethics."
The Code of Ethics prohibits counselors from discriminating based on a number of factors, including gender identity and sexual orientation. "Counselors do not discriminate against clients, students, employees, supervisees, or research participants in a manner that has a negative impact on these persons," the code says.
Keeton's lawsuit alleges that the university's remediation plan noted Keeton's "disagreement in several class discussions and in written assignments with the gay and lesbian 'lifestyle,'" as well as Keeton's belief that those "lifestyles" are cases of identity confusion.
If Keeton fails to complete the plan, including additional reading and the writing of papers describing the impact on her beliefs, she will be expelled from the Counselor Education Program, the lawsuit claims.
Keeton has stated that she believes sexual behavior is the "result of accountable personal choice rather than an inevitability deriving from deterministic forces," according to the suit.
"She also has affirmed binary male-female gender, with one or the other being fixed in each person at their creation, and not a social construct or individual choice subject to alteration by the person so created," the lawsuit reads. "Further, she has expressed her view that homosexuality is a 'lifestyle,' not a 'state of being.'"
David French, senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, which filed the lawsuit against Augusta State University on Keeton's behalf, said no university has the right to force a citizen to change their beliefs on any topic.
"The university has told Jennifer Keeton that if she doesn't change her beliefs, she can't stay in the program," he told FoxNews.com. "She won't even have a chance to counsel any students; she won't have a chance to get a counseling degree; she'll be expelled."
Keeton, who is not available for interviews according to French, believes that people have "moral choices" regarding their sexuality, he said.
"A student has a right to express their point of view in and out of class without fear or censorship or expulsion," French said.
Augusta State Univ. to counseling student: change your beliefs or get out
ADF attorneys file suit after university officials require counseling student to abandon her beliefs to get a degree
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 12:00 AM (MST) |
ADF Media Relations | 480-444-0020
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit against Augusta State University Wednesday on behalf of a counseling student told that her Christian beliefs are unethical and incompatible with the prevailing views of the counseling profession. The student, Jennifer Keeton, has been told to stop sharing her beliefs with others and that she must change her beliefs in order to graduate from the counseling program.
Augusta State ordered Keeton to undergo a re-education plan, in which she must attend “diversity sensitivity training,” complete additional remedial reading, and write papers to describe their impact on her beliefs. If she does not change her beliefs or agree to the plan, the university says it will expel her from the Counselor Education Program.
“A public university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being a Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. Simply put, the university is imposing thought reform,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French. “Abandoning one’s own religious beliefs should not be a precondition at a public university for obtaining a degree. This type of leftist zero-tolerance policy is in place at far too many universities, and it must stop. Jennifer’s only crime was to have the beliefs that she does.”
Keeton, 24, is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling at Augusta State. After her professors learned of her biblical beliefs, specifically her views on homosexual conduct, from both classroom discussions and private conversations with other students, the school imposed the re-education plan. Keeton never denigrated anyone in communicating her beliefs but merely stated factually what they were in appropriate contexts.
The plan assails Keeton’s beliefs as inconsistent with the counseling profession and expresses suspicion over “Jen’s ability to be a multiculturally competent counselor, particularly with regard to working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (GLBTQ) populations.” The plan requires her to take steps to change her beliefs through additional assignments and additional “diversity sensitivity training.” It also orders her to “work to increase exposure and interactions with gay populations. One such activity could be attending the Gay Pride Parade in Augusta.”
Each month, Keeton is required to complete a report on how the “remediation” assignments have influenced her beliefs so that faculty can “decide the appropriateness of her continuation in the counseling program.” The plan concludes by noting that “failure to complete all elements of the remediation plan will result in dismissal from the Counselor Education Program.”
ADF attorneys filed the complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction in Keeton v. Anderson-Wiley with the U.S. District Court for the District of Georgia. ADF is currently litigating a similar case involving a counseling student at Eastern Michigan University and successfully resolved a case at Missouri State University. Also in litigation is a case involving a Georgia counselor fired by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because she would not agree to affirm homosexual behavior as morally acceptable.
ADF University Project website
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.
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