Eastern Michigan University will pay $75,000 to settle a case with a former student who was expelled from a master’s program four years ago.
The student was unwilling to work with patients whose beliefs went against her religious values.
Dr. Perry Francis is with EMU’s College of Education.
He says despite settling the case, EMU’s program will continue to require counseling students to support every patient’s needs. "Our world is made up of a lot of different people. And as professional mental health counselors, one of the things that we want to do is to make sure we are competent and open…competent to treat and open to our clients’ experience and to be able to enter their world and help them."
Perry says students can provide counseling without endorsing someone else’s beliefs over their own. "We believe that we aren't to impose our values on a client. That we're supposed to enter their world and that we respect the clients that come in our door. That's why we have a non-discriminatory policy built into the ethics."
EMU has no plans to change Counseling program as a result of settling the case.
- Chris Zollars, Michigan Radio Newsroom