I am a true advocate and I believe in sticking up for what's right and for those who can't advocate for themselves. I believe that people are good and should be given a chance and that out of every life experience good or bad you learn something.
Demand Justice from Judge Furman & Stop Discriminating Agst People w/ Mental Health Issues
One in Four college students have a diagnosable mental health condition. 40% do not seek help. According to the Association for College Center Counseling Directors, the most common diagnosis students are struggling with is Depression. Universities and colleges are turning their backs on students with mental health conditions; the Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) need to do something about it. My name is Emily Pierce. I was studying at the Graduate School of Social Services at Fordham University when I took a medical leave to seek help for my depression. After I was released from the hospital, I tried to return for the spring semester, but Fordham refused my request. They said that I must go through their re-entry process and hand over all of my records from the psychiatric hospital. I gave the school a letter from my psychiatrist saying that I was ready and able to return, but that wasn't enough for them. According to the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, schools may inquire into a student's current condition anFordham would not let me return to the school until I gave them my entire record of mental health treatment.d request recent mental health information and records, but only the information needed to determine whether the student is a threat. "The school cannot insist on unlimited access to confidential information or records," Bazelon said in a 2008 report on campus rights. Instead of giving in to Fordham’s bullying, I sued the university for violating my civil rights. I also contacted the U.S. Department of Health and OCR. They initially found that I had viable claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and arranged mediation between me and school officials. The negotiations failed, and the OCR has since gone silent. I haven't heard from them in two years! I am now working in retail, facing debt collectors, and hoping to finish my degree to become a social worker. Unfortunately, I'm not the only student who has faced discrimination by colleges because of their mental health condition. There are many others out there like me, and now I am trying to ensure that this poor treatment stops once and for all. On June 2, 2016, Federal Judge Jesse Furman, appointed by President Obama, handed down a decision which will allow colleges/universities to continue discriminating on the basis of a mental health disability. Please sign my petition to demand that Federal Judge Jesse Furman be required to permit this case by matter of law to move forward and hear all the evidence and stop the continuation of civil rights violations against people with mental health issues on college campuses.