No, not me. Anyway what BS from a bunch off [edited] admins. I thought it was a rather creative use of language.
A student dismissed from the University of Louisville's nursing school because of her Internet postings has sued the university, alleging that it violated her First Amendment rights.
Nina Yoder, who served in the U.S. Army as a medic before she enrolled at U of L in 2007, yesterday asked a federal court judge to reinstate her. No hearing has been set on her motion.
The nursing school expelled her March 2, saying her MySpace postings "regarding patient activities and identification as a University of Louisville School of Nursing student violates the nursing honor code which you pledged to uphold," according to a copy of her dismissal letter, which was attached to the suit.
In her lawsuit, however, Yoder says no patients were identified on her MySpace page and that school officials dismissed her because of false concerns by other students that she might have had a gun.
The suit says that when she was called in for a meeting on Feb. 27, she was patted down by two campus police officers who found no weapon. And she said she's never brought one on campus.
In her blog postings, copies of which are attached to the suit, Yoder defends the right to bear arms and makes often caustic and profane observations on race, sex and religion, including diatribes against Christians and blacks.
"I do have my personal opinions, but they have absolutely nothing to do with my treatment of patients," she said in an interview yesterday.
John Drees, a spokesman for U of L, refused to discuss Yoder's dismissal.
In a statement, he said: "Student disciplinary and academic matters are by law and university policy confidential; the university takes seriously academic and disciplinary matters. There are several processes available for students who seek review of any decisions affecting their academic status."
Drees also provided a copy of the nursing school's two-page honor code, which all students are required to sign. One portion of it says: "As a representative of the School of Nursing, I pledge to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, accountability, confidentiality, and professionalism, in all my written work, spoken words, actions and interactions with patients, families, peers and faculty."
A Philadelphia-based campus free-speech group, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, yesterday described Yoder's dismissal as part of a disturbing trend by universities to penalize students over what they say online and off campus.
"If the university really went after every nursing student who put up a controversial MySpace page, they'd have to expel a whole lot more people," said Adam Kissel, director of the individual rights program for the nonprofit group, which includes professors and policy experts from across the political spectrum.
In a letter unsuccessfully requesting reinstatement, Yoder said she thinks she was expelled in part because the associate dean of nursing, Ermalynn Kiehl, objected to the profanity and anti-religious statements on her blog. Kiehl was on vacation and couldn't be reached for comment.
"If profanity was grounds for dismissal for the School of Nursing, the nursing school would go bankrupt," Yoder wrote.
In one of her postings, Yoder describes the birth of a child to a woman whom she'd been assigned to follow as one of her assignments, though she doesn't mention any names.
After hours of labor and one last push, Yoder wrote, "Out came a wrinkly bluish creature, all Picasso-like and weird, ugly as hell ... screeching and waving its tentacles in the air. Fifteen minutes later, it turned into a pink, itty bitty baby girl."
In another passage, Yoder describes how the nursing school is in downtown Louisville, adjoining an area "inhabited by humanoids who have an IQ of 10 and whose needs and actions are basically instinctive. As in, all they do is ––––, eat, –––– and kill each other," although she added, "OK, maybe I am generalizing yet again."
Yoder's lawyer, Daniel Canon, said his client is "very outspoken and has every right to be."
In her letter seeking reinstatement, Yoder said: "What I write is a mixture of fiction and satire, aimed to be an emotional relief from daily stress. ... My political views are irrelevant to the School of Nursing."
Yoder's suit complains that while she was given a right to appeal her dismissal, which was denied, she was offered no hearing to present evidence and witnesses in her defense.
The suit also says she has maintained a grade-point average over 3.0. And in her letter requesting reinstatement, she said she has received frequent "praise for my courteousness, helpfulness and empathy" and has always treated patients in a respectful manner.
Reporter Andrew Wolfson can be reached at (502) 582-7189.