A prospective student is suing the Community College of Baltimore County in Rosedale, Maryland, accusing the school of denying his application to its radiation therapy program, in part, because of his Christianity.
Brandon Jenkins claims that a college official explicitly stated in an email that his expression of faith during the interview process was one of the factors that led to the decision not to admit him for the fall 2013 term.
During the interview, Jenkins claims that the panel asked," What is the most important thing to you?" He responded, "My God."
In the email, which was obtained by TheBlaze, Adrienne Dougherty, director of the radiation therapy program at the Community College of Baltimore County, said that Jenkins' GPA was lower than other applicants and that he may want to leave his faith out of future interviews.
"I understand that religion is a major part of your life and that was evident in your recommendation letters, however, this field is not the place for religion," Dougherty wrote, according to the lawsuit. "We have many patients who come to us for treatment from many different religions and some who believe in nothing at all. If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process."
See a copy of that email below:
A purported criminal charge from 10 years ago was also raised by school officials as a potential barrier to Jenkins' career, though attorney David French of the conservative American Center for Law and Justice described his client as having good character, noting that he recently helped run a halfway house before applying to the college.
Jenkins' lawsuit seeks damages and demands that he be admitted to the school.
"The college asked Mr. Jenkins what was most important in his life, and Mr. Jenkins answered truthfully that God was most important," French, senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, said in a press release. "Belief in God does not and should not disqualify a student from admission to college, and the university’s blatant and explicit discrimination is intolerable."
Community College of Baltimore County spokeswoman Hope Davis told TheBlaze in a statement that the school "remains fully committed to both our 'open door' mission and the value that we place on inclusiveness as fundamental to that mission."
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
"This strong tradition welcomes all and discriminates against none on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, age, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or physical ability. Diversity is one of our strengths," she continued. "Although CCBC’s School of Health Professions must, out of necessity, require selective admissions benchmarked against multiple criteria, CCBC is confident that no one is denied admission to its programs due to their religious belief."
When asked specifically about the email cited in the complaint, Davis said that the college abides by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and would, thus, not publicly speak about "private student matters," though she forwarded TheBlaze to the official complaint to read the email in question.
The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court in Maryland. Read the complaint here.
(H/T: Christian Post)
Front page image via Shutterstock.com