Student denied admission to public college because he said God is important to him

Student denied admission to public college because he said God is important to him

Last year we filed a lawsuit on behalf of Brandon Jenkins, a student who was denied admission to the Radiation Therapy Program at the Community College of Baltimore County (a public college) after he expressed a religious viewpoint during the program’s admissions process.

Because Mr. Jenkins had the academic credentials for admission to the program and received a high score on the other admissions requirements, he inquired as to the reason for his denial. To describe the response he received as surprising would be a gross understatement. It was jaw-dropping, and entirely inexcusable. In the exact words of the program’s director, Mr. Jenkins was told:

“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.” Additionally, Ms. Dougherty stated, “If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process.”

It bears spelling this out: a government school official believed it was entirely appropriate to reject an otherwise-qualified candidate for admission to her program because he had the temerity, when asked in his interview to identify “the most important thing to [him],” to answer honestly, “my God,” and because (apparently, in her estimation) the radiation therapy field is off-limits to anyone for whom religion “is a major part of . . . life.” …

Last Friday, the district court issued an opinion allowing the case to move forward.

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