College Forced Female Students Into Transvaginal Exams in Class While Teacher Made ‘Bizarre’ Comments: Lawsuit
Two women have filed a lawsuit against Valencia College in Florida after they were allegedly forced to undergo transvaginal probes in class.
The unnamed students have sued the college and three instructors, Maureen Bugnacki, Barabara Ball, and Linda Shaheen, claiming that the forced procedures violated their First and Fourth Amendment rights.
The lawsuit claims the instructors told the women that the procedure was part of their training and though they said it was voluntary the suit says the women were threatened with retaliation if they did not undergo the probe.
The suit also says that staff members told the women “they could find another school if they did not wish to be probed” and made “bizarre” comments while they were undergoing the procedure.
The suit says the women were required to undress in the bathroom and walk across the classroom covered in just towels. The affidavit says, “A student would place a condom over the probe and then apply generous amounts of lubrication to the probe. In some cases, the student would have to sexually ‘stimulate’ plaintiffs in order to facilitate inserting the probe into plaintiffs’ vaginas.”
The suit claims that Ball told one of the women that she was “sexy” and should be an “escort girl” during one of the procedures.
After the suit was filed, the college released a statement saying, “the use of volunteers – including fellow students – for medical sonography training is a nationally accepted practice.”
“Valencia’s sonography program has upheld the highest standards with respect to ultrasound scanning for educational purposes, including voluntary participation and professional supervision by faculty in a controlled laboratory setting,” the statement said. “Nonetheless, we continue to review this practice and others to ensure that they are effective and appropriate for the learning environment.”
At the same time, the college ended the transvaginal tests last year after the women’s lawyers first contacted them.
Attorney Chris Dillingham said that the procedures were supposed to be voluntary but in practice became mandatory.
“Policy is what you do, not what you write down,” he added.