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By Victor Trammell Eastern Michigan University (EMU) was challenged in a lawsuit that charged the educational institution of wrongfully expelling a student enrolled in the school’s course for a counseling practicum. Julea Ward (pictured above), a Christian, was a student participant in EMU’s counseling program that gave her hands on training in counseling clients on various issues, such as relationships. However, Ward angered administrators of the program when she refused clients who were in gay or lesbian relationships. During an internal conference on the matter, Ward stated that her Christian beliefs prevented her from offering relationship advice to clients whose lifestyles were against God’s laws. Ward’s direct supervisor simply told her to reassign the gay or lesbian clients to another counselor. However, EMU administrators took it a step further when they threatened Ward with expulsion unless she agreed to take part in a “remediation” program that forced her to change her beliefs for the benefit of the school’s counseling program. The struggle between Julea Ward and EMU came to a head when Ward did not budge on her position and was eventually expelled from EMU. Ward filed a lawsuit and was represented by attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The case was heard by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. EMU avoided what would have been an embarrassing loss at trial by settling the matter out of court. EMU also wiped the expulsion off of Julea Ward’s record so that her future educational goals would not be hindered. This case has prompted Michigan lawmakers to begin working on legislation that protects students’ rights. Hopefully a bill is signed into law that prevents the possibility of anyone going through what Ms. Ward had to endure.      

Eastern Michigan University Pays Hefty Price For Expelling Student Who Refused To Counsel Gays

By Victor Trammell

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) was challenged in a lawsuit that charged the educational institution of wrongfully expelling a student enrolled in the school’s course for a counseling practicum.

Julea Ward (pictured above), a Christian, was a student participant in EMU’s counseling program that gave her hands on training in counseling clients on various issues, such as relationships. However, Ward angered administrators of the program when she refused clients who were in gay or lesbian relationships.

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