I haven't been a Columbia student, but there is v. little "wiggle room" in the schedules for accelerated nursing programs
(or even traditional nursing programs). Missing an exam or more than the allowed amount of clinical time could mean you end up flunking out of school.
However, without knowing anything at all about the specifics of this situation, I wonder whether there isn't a lot more to this story than we're being told (from my experience in nursing education, there usually is
). The info in the Post
(which is known
as a sensationalist tabloid, of course) article certainly sounds "fishy" to me. I wouldn't be surprised if this were a student who had created problems earlier, and this was just the final straw. Suing the school??? IMHO, that's not the action of someone for whom everything was going great until this suddenly happened.
There are often posts here about how "my school treated me so unfairly, I didn't do anything wrong, and they were so mean to me for no reason," and then, eventually, much later in the discussion, it turns out the situation was really quite different from what the OP originally reported. There's a big difference between being angry about getting kicked out and having been treated unfairly. Most schools (in my experience teaching in a few different nursing programs) bend over backwards
to avoid kicking students out, have an appeal process, and go out of their way to be sure that, if they're going to flunk someone out, they have followed all their own policies about appropriate documentation, school policies/procedures, etc., etc., etc., precisely to be careful that they're not in a position where they could be successfully sued. I suppose it's possible
that a school of Columbia's stature and reputation could have just thrown caution to the wind and arbitrarily flunked a student out, but that seems highly unlikely to me.
(Interestingly, I just did a Google search to see how this situation eventually turned out (the original situation happened in 2007), and, while there are lots of articles/references in June and July of 2007 to Perrino suing the school, I couldn't find any later references to how the suit was resolved. I can't help but think that, if he had been successful in suing the school (or being reinstated in school), that would have been news that would get at least some
coverage. Instead, the whole matter seems to have disappeared.)