EMU student's lawsuit against university dismissed


A lawsuit brought against Eastern Michigan University by a master’s student in the counseling program was dismissed today.

As previously reported by the Eastern Echo, Julea Ward was taking a Practicum course in the program which required students to counsel between five and eight clients during the semester. The clients come from the general public and pay the university a small fee for the services.

Ward’s third client sought counseling about a homosexual relationship. After Ward read the file, she decided she could not counsel the individual because of her religious beliefs. Ward believed she was removed from the program because of her views.

U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh ruled in favor of the university and granted it summary judgment.

Steeh said EMU had a “rational basis” for implementing the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics into its counseling program and requiring students to counsel clients without imposing their personal values.

According to court documents,the judge said by refusing to counsel because of her own personal value system, Ward failed to complete an academic requirement of the program.