Meet Danielle Powell (on the right). Former student at a fundamentalist Christian College in Nebraska.
She was kicked out, because of the OTHER woman in the photo, her wife, Michelle Powers (on the left). I know, this SOUNDS like a discrimination case. But it's not. . . .
You see, at Grace University, students sign an agreement. The agreement is, that they will live by the Code of Conduct. By the standards of most of America, the code is rather broad and quite strict. 7 1/2 pages of "thou shalt nots" (starts on page 8), including several TV channels, public displays of affection, dancing, pre-marital sex, and, of course, homosexual acts (page 11). Mind you, **I** would never agree to even a tenth of that (What, no HBO ? Sorry, but MUST HAVE MY GAME OF THRONES !!!!) , but then again, Christians have this thing about Wizardry. . . . (Grin)
There are ANOTHER 6 1/2 pages of procedures and levels of infraction, with all consequences spelled out. And here's the kicker: each student is REQUIRED to agree to this Code of Conduct, and sign and date their agreement (page 27). We call this a "contract": the signer has agreed to certain things and to pay a specified amount of money, and in return, they are enrolled in the University and allowed to take classes for credit. It's a simple transaction: agree and sign, and attend, OR disagree, don't sign, and no longer attend.
And the agreement ALSO spells out the processes and outcomes for violating the code of conduct, and thus the contract (starting on page 15). In extreme cases, the student forfeits their right to attend, and legally, as they agreed to the contract terms, it's a voluntary separation from the college.
You will note the lack of force to sign: Don't sign, you
don't get enrolled, but nobody forced ANYONE to sign. Choosing to
attend a school like that, is a choice, and all the choices that flow
from that initial choice. . . .
Now, let's get to the particulars of the case. Danelle had attended Grace for several years, and says she was NOT originally a lesbian. OK, fine, we'll take her word on that. But in the fall of 2011, she started a same-sex relationship with another girl who ALSO claims that she was not, at the time, a lesbian. It's starting to get thin, but, we'll accept THAT too. And then they got caught somehow, and her adviser notified the university.
The University told her she could go into a "restoration program", involving counseling and regular church attendance, and of course, no more relationships with women. And she agreed, to preserve her academic standing. She also got kicked out of the dorms and prohibited from staying overnight in any dorm.
She also, apparently, kept dating her girlfriend, violating THAT program as well, and in March 2012, she was ejected from the University.
And thus it gets interesting. She did NOT finish 60% of that term, which would have been her last, and had federal aid (type unspecified) that term. Apparently Federal Regulations (unspecified, but discussed here) require you to complete 67% or better of credits attempted in order to keep the Federal Aid, otherwise it must be paid back to the school (who dispensed it as an agent of the Federal Government). That sounds about right, I remember people flunking out way back in MY day, and owing their grants and loans for that term immediately. . .
But Danelle, who now is married to a different woman, doesn't want to pay back the money she legally owes. After all, she signed a contract, but that's nothing because she FOUND LOVE. . . .
Right. Tell that to any OTHER creditor. And she's especially irritated that, until she clears what she owes to the University (and to us Taxpayers. . . ), they won't release any official copies of her transcript. Which makes sense: it's the only leverage they have to get what they are legally owed. . . .
If you're not sensing any sympathy here, you're absolutely correct. She signed a contract, of her own free will, broke that contract, entered into "restoration" without complying with its' requirements (ALSO in the contract), and now is whining that they're picking on her because she caught a case of Teh Ghey.
Being a lesbian may have been the trigger, but the bottom line here is Breach of Contract. Which is pretty darned serious. And yet, familiar.
Remember Kaitlyn Hunt ?? Same thing: not guilty because of being gay. But that's not the only way it's played these days: ANY group can play that game: there have been several cases of Muslims raping underage girls because they were considered fair game under the Qu'ran, after all, they dressed provocatively. . .
What ever happened to a contract being a binding document, and the law being the same for all ???