Lawsuit Accuses Utah State University of Discrimination in Student Expulsion

August 10, 2020

A lawsuit filed in federal court accuses Utah State University of unlawfully discriminating against and expelling a student with Down syndrome during her first term.

Emily Arthur was in the Aggies Elevated program which offers students a mix of career exploration and independent living leading to a certificate, the Deseret News reported. The program is funded by a federal grant.

The lawsuit filed in Utah’s U.S. District Court seeks unspecified damages and injunctive relief.

The lawsuit says as a result of the university’s “intentional discrimination,” Arthur was “degraded, dehumanized and humiliated.”

University spokesperson Amanda DeRito said Utah State University typically doesn’t comment on current litigation, but the lawsuit is troubling in its misrepresentation of facts and how it portrays the Aggies Elevated program.

According to the lawsuit, Arthur was provisionally accepted into the program in 2018 and began participating in activities leading up to moving into student housing on the Logan campus.

At no point, did anyone with the program inform Arthur or her parents that she was not ready or unqualified to participate, the lawsuit says.

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