understanding the pain they have and continue to cause her and us is OUTRAGEOUS. We feel like we have been punched in the gut, yet again.
We recognize that SOU Administration is using their legal precedent, however arrived at, to state their right to define the populous they want to serve. Whatever Jim Crow law they are going to hide behind, we find this morally reprehensible and the law has to change - for Eliza and for all of the students on the campus of SOU, who have stated clearly their desire to have her be a fully accepted part of their University.
Perhaps SOU could get a clue and follow the outpouring of support that Eliza has received from friends, family, Pinehurst and Ashland Schools and Communities. The people of OUR community have EMBRACED Eliza fully and for that we are profoundly thankful. They have written passionate letters to SOU administration on her behalf, clearly stating her value and worth as a classmate and as a human being. Why is this so hard to understand? The time for change is now!
The Letter titled "Informal Grievance Resolution Letter - November 20, 2010" to Eliza from SOU Dean of Students, Laura O'Bryon can be found under links and documents to right.
To Dean O’Bryon:
We strongly disagree with your characterization of our position. We in no way feel that your suggested “solution” of barring her as a student at SOU, not letting her attend the final 2 ceramics classes and instead allowing her to have a critique with her professor and what classmates as might want to attend after the allotted final cleaning up class on December 8th satisfies Eliza’s desire for closure, but reminds her again of your unyielding behavior toward her simple request. Furthermore, we believe that Eliza did NOT alter the learning environment in a negative way. We also believe that she is being discriminated against under Section 504. A person, such as Eliza, should have every right to attend a state funded institution with or without a personal attendant to access what they are able. It is our understanding that auditing, non-admitted students are not currently tested for their cognitive ability OR tested on their ability to absorb the correct amount of University-level curriculum. Furthermore, the acceptance of auditing students into a class is at the discretion of the Professor. By barring Eliza and others from an education with their full range of peers, you have blatantly discriminated against her because of her disability. And in addition you conversely are discriminating against those students currently enrolled at SOU who ask that Eliza be included as part of their University experience.