Pennsylvania University Student Suing School After Failing Required Class Twice

Published May 13, 2015

A Pennsylvania university nursing student is suing the school after failing a required course twice, saying anxiety and depression made it difficult for her to concentrate.

Jennifer Burbella claims her Misericordia University professor did not do enough to help her pass a class on adult health patterns.

Burbella said the professor gave her a distraction-free environment and extra time for her final exam when she took the class the second time, but did not respond to telephoned questions as promised, giving her even more stress.

Burbella said she started to break down in tears because of the lack of help.

She said the Catholic university gave another disabled student better accommodations and that her treatment violated a federal disability discrimination law.

The Citizens’ Voice reports Burbella is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

A Misericordia spokesman told the paper it does not comment on pending litigation.

Burbella entered the university’s nursing program in 2010 and struggled toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing because of her conditions, the lawsuit says, and experienced great anxiety due to social and academic challenges and family medical issues.

After failing the first time, Burbella says the university forced her to re-take the class in a summer session that began four days later, causing “great trepidation.”

Misericordia, located outside Scranton, has an undergraduate enrollment of about 3,200 students.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

About

Growing up in a small little town was a unique experience. Being out as a gay male was not a wise decision being amongst loggers and farmers.

Things in my personal life made it necessary for me to move to a bigger and more accepting community, Thanks in part to a very good friend and his wife, this was made possible.

The move as been very exciting; but scary and overwhelming at times. Although, my family knew I was gay the acceptance of my lifestyle felt more like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as they still made snide comments and jokes about gays in general.

Being in my new surrounding and learning to be comfortable in my own skin while being introduced to others that embrace who they are has made me feel like a kid in a candy store but also like I need to hide behind someone out of the sense of needing security.

As part of my exploration process, while using my experience as a radio announcer, my friend and I do a podcast every Thursday night addressing a variety of topics. I am the voice opposite Dru on The Druth.

Taking yet another step in discovering and accepting who I am I launched “Loki’s Closet,” a weekly radio show on the “We Resisters Radio Network” covering topics that the LGTBQ community face on a daily basis. I am always seeking topics and ask for your help in this endeavor, what topics do you think I should talk about? Is there a topic that you think should be brought more to the forefront?

I am also the moderator for “The Only Thing ‘Straight’ Here Is the Truth” a FaceBook group and also write a blog under the same title. It is my hope to educate and inspire people. I will accomplish this by sharing my personal experiences and hopefully having each of you share yours.

As with anything in life not all topics discussed will be positive, however they will make you think. You cannot have the good without also acknowledging the uncomfortable issues. One person cannot make a very impactful change by themselves, however together as a team or family people will take notice.

Categories: Lawsuits