Hey! Wait! I got a new (federal) complaint: disability rights & 'Varsity Blues' bribes at Harvard.
A federal complaint filed on behalf of a Harvard College student is shedding light on how the school handles disability rights and accommodations for Harvard students with disabilities.
The Harvard Crimson reports that the school "currently faces a complaint filed with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights alleging the College’s 2018 decision to place former student Ty Pelton-Byce ’20 on a mandatory leave of absence constituted disability-based discrimination."
"The complaint — filed March 14 by Pelton-Byce’s mother, Alicia Pelton — alleges that College officials had violated section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits institutions that receive federal funding from discriminating against people with mental or physical disabilities."
"Pelton-Byce's federal complaint is reportedly joins the queue in the mixtape that is "Claims of Disability Discrimination at Harvard."
[Lil Wayne voice] Go DOJ! 'Cause that's my DOJ (or DOE, as it were).
The Crimson goes on to note that the DOE "currently has six open investigations into alleged disability discrimination at Harvard — one 2013 case into the University, two 2017 cases into the Extension School, and three 2017 cases into the Kennedy School."
(Article source: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2019/3/19/doe-complaint-ada-harvard/ )
Another Crimson article reports on the Harvard alumni charged in the "Operation Varsity Blues" college admissions bribery scandal:
"...Harvard alumni were arrested and charged for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in a nationwide scheme to fraudulently secure admission for their children to top universities through millions of dollars in bribes and falsified standardized test answers."
"Another alumnus, who allegedly took standardized tests like the SAT and ACT in place of college applicants, was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud."
"College graduates Gregory O. Colburn ’79 and Stephen P. Semprevivo ’88; Business School degree-holders Douglas M. Hodge and John B. Wilson; and Law School alumna Elisabeth Kimmel are five of the 33 parents who are accused of using bribes to secure spots at top universities for their children."
"None of the individuals responded to requests for comment for this story."
"Mark E. Riddell ’04, the former director of exam preparation at IMG Academy in Florida, allegedly tampered with students’ standardized test answers and, in at least one instance, received an exam from a compromised test administrator and took it himself."
"He is cooperating with investigators and has agreed to plead guilty to all charges against him, according to prosecutors."
(Article source: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2019/3/14/admissions-national-investi... )
These stories juxtaposed next to one another raise some very necessary dialogue about access, privilege, and fairness at academic institutions like Harvard.
Reminds me of the class angst I think a lot on while riding the #1 bus from Roxbury to Cambridge. 1010 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston is the welfare office, Department of Transitional Assistance.
1010 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge is a stolid, castle-like luxury apartment building called "The Cantabrigia."
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To the left, to the left
In before a non sequitur comment about the left
Compare access for hard of hearing to Boston City Council.
Compare access for hard of hearing to public funded Stenographic Record of Public Meetings of Boston City Council, more complete than Minutes, more accurate than inaccurate video captions. Also useful for the Deaf Community,
ESL folks using English as a Second Language,
tinnitus ringing in the ears,
stroke recovery folks,
folks with cognitive difficulty,
ADD attention deficit folks,
folks in city neighborhoods far afield of City Hall,
Lower Mills folks,
Cedar Gove folks,
Adams Village folks,
Peabody Square folks,
Port Norfolk folks,
Popes Hill folks,
Hyde Park folks,
Orient Heights folks,
folks with difficulty to tolerate hard aggravating public seats of the City Council Chamber,
folks sidelined for lack of access to the Full Plain Text Stenographic Record of Public Meetings of Boston City Council, folks reluctant about indicating such concerns.
Access, access, access
I think the Harvard College student who filed a lawsuit might not have an auditory disability.
But Boston City Council definitely needs to ensure their hearings are accessible for everybody in Boston.
This article talks more about City Council efforts for accessibility...it's from 2017 though:
ironic counterintuitive Boston City Council.
The District 9 Councilor remarked he has hearing difficulty. The City Clerk remarked her spouse is hard of hearing. Many City Hall regulars deal with hearing concerns yet City Council is in denial.
Let's hope they get it figured out
and make these hearings accessible to everybody ASAP.