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Malibu05
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 3/9/2008 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Guys, I have a pretty serious question and it has really been bothering me. I attend a  major university and before the semester began I filed with my university's office for student disability. I only requested that I be allowed occasional exceptions to attendance policies for doctor's visitis, remicade infusions, and a poss. hospital stay. They gave me letters of accomadtion to give to my teachers to sign so they would be aware. This went well except for my history teacher. He's a young guy, in his 30's I'd say. I took him my letter and he snapped immeadeatly asking what my disability was. I know that I didn't have to tell him but, I'm not really ashamed of my Crohn's Disease and thought if he knew what was actually wrong, it would help him to better understand the accomodation I was requesting. So I told him and then I got "Well, you don't look sick. You probably just want to be able to cut class." I really didn't know what to say. He had already signed my paper so I took it and began to walk away. I sat down and he taught the 1st half of class and then we had a short break. While on break, I didn't get up, I just stayed in my seat. He stayed in the room too and looked at me and said "Isn't Crohn's Disease all in people's heads anyways?". There were about 15 other students in the room.
 
I can deal with people being skeptic of my disease. I get it. Some days I don't look or feel sick, but other I do. Usually I'm so sick on those days that I don't go out so people never get to see that side of me. I'm not one who likes to get people in trouble but what this guy did is WRONG. He violated my privacy rights and completely disregarded my illness. I want to tell the University disability staff but am scared that they will give him a warning and put him back in my class and my grade will suffer. Either that or I will face more humiliation. I'm really at a loss at what to do. I don't want to drop the class b/c at this point I won't get my money back. I mean, my papers at the disability center are completely legit. My doctor specifically wrote that I had Crohn's and that occasional exceptions to the attendance policy would be nessecary for me to have a fair chance at education. I just don't get why this guy feels the need to undermine that.
 
Has anyone else had to deal with this? I feel so uncomfortable in his class and I just don't know what to do..please help!
 
By the way, to those who saw my posts about surgery, I am still recovering. Luckily, next week is my spring break so I don't have to worry about sitting on my sore bum through classes! Thanks for all your encouargment!

sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 3/9/2008 11:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I would write a polite letter to the dean of students and call his office to make an appointment to see him. Hand carry the letter. Go over the basic points in a brief summary during your meeting includeing your concern about your grade suffering or him further humiliating you and then stating what you would like to happen. for example I would like to stay in the class but have this conversation on file so if he grades me unfairly I can ask to have it reviewed. Or, I would like to have my tuition for this class refunded as the professors unproffessional behavior has interfered with my education, or I would like to be able to transfer to another history class without penalty.
Be prepared to take a counter offer.
Thank the Dean for his time as you leave his office. Whatever you do try to keep a proffessional attitude in the deans office.
This is one of the primary jobs of the dean of students he shoud be hepful.
Sj

upt0106
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 3/9/2008 11:05 AM (GMT -7)   
here's what I would do.

-Write down what happened, what he said, everything you can recall from that time.
-Write a letter and personally deliver it to the folks at the schools disability department, so that they know that one of their faculty obviously is not up to date on his disability awareness training.
-Go to the library and find a nice scholarly article about Crohn's disease and how it is not all in people's heads, or even just a basic fact sheet from the ccfa website. Print it out and bring it to him. Tell him that you appreciate his interest in your medical condition and that you found a good article that covers the basics of what the disease is and can do.
-document and report anything that you feel is adverse action taken against you, or any future incidents of violating your rights/privileges as a disabled student.

I agree, the dean of students should help you out as well. If you handle this calmly and professionally I can't see it doing anything but getting better for you.

I'm sorry you had to go through this. I was fortunate that all of my professors were understanding and didn't bat an eye if I suddenly had to leave the room to go to the bathroom, or if I missed a class because I was in the hospital.

good luck, and be strong!
---
-Male, age 31
-Diagnosed with Crohn's 2002 - 5 surgeries for peri-rectal abscess in 2002-2003
-Started Makers Diet 26 Jan 08
-currently on prednisone taper after landing myself in the ER with a partial obstruction

Post Edited (upt0106) : 3/9/2008 12:08:28 PM (GMT-6)


Kittikatt
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 3/9/2008 11:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Let me just say up front that stuff like this fires me up real good! So if I start to sound fiesty, forgive me! :)

My heart goes out to you. It's hard enough having Crohn's Disease without MORONS like this circling your daily routine. However, we have to stand up for ourselves in situations like this and TEACH people the PROPER way to handle things. Some people just don't know any better; others are just idiots; and others are just plain hateful! PEOPLE LIKE YOUR HISTORY PROFESSOR NEED TO BE TAUGHT HOW TO INTERACT WITH THE HUMAN RACE!!! People who do not have a chronic illness can't POSSIBLY understand it. How we can look/feel good one day and look/feel TERRIBLE the next day??? It's hard enough for US to undestand that - but that IS what happens.

I work for a major university and have dealt with many moronic professors over the years. I'm not sure what your age is but if you're in your early twenties and are anything like ME when I was that age, I wouldn't have said a WORD about this situtation! I had a couple of bully professors when I was in school. They were older, wiser and had more power than me. But NOW I would give ANYTHING if I had written a letter or complained in person - something! - if it would have kept another student from experiencing what I did with these jerks. I'm hear to tell you that these people are not gods; they are just HUMANS and this History Professor is an arrogant JERK and you need to put him in his place with the tools accessible to you.

1) Tell this professor (in person or by letter) how much it upset you that he'd "out" your illness in front of other classmates. This illness can be embarrassing on many levels, and not everyone wants strangers to know about it!!! It's up to YOU to decide who knows...NOT him.

2) Tell the disability office of this professor's unfair and RIDICULOUS comments towards you. University's keep records of things like this.

3) File a complaint with the Human Resources department.

4) Switch to ANOTHER History professor. If you're at a major university, they will have several History professors to choose from.

5) Finally, write a letter to the dean of this professor's college. The dean needs to know how his professors are acting towards their students. Professors are not allowed to treat students in such a poor manor. Most major universities have Human Resource CLASSES for faculty and staff that deal with things JUST LIKE THIS, teaching them how to treat people they come in contact with. I work with someone on campus who is always very demeaning to people on the phone and talks down to them like she's better than they are...people have complained and she has been sent to this HR class MORE than once. :)

Pick one or choose all of the above. But don't just NOT do anything. He needs to in some way be reprimanded for being a JERK, even if that is a simple heartfelt comment from you as to how he made you feel. MAYBE he'll actually feel bad for what he did (although I doubt it!)

I think an email to the dean of his college is a great idea - and copy the professor on it. That way he KNOWS his boss knows how he treated you.

Good luck!
Diagnosed in October, 2003 at age 31.
36/F/SC
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, One-A-Day multivitamin
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue


Mark Mac
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 3/9/2008 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Boy! I'm glad the two previous posts were give before I read this, cause I would have ranted on about litigation and all that detrimental BS that you don't need to bother yourself with. I agree, however, that some action needs to be taken. This ignorant ass needs to have his insensitivity brought to his attention. Just because a condition is not in the new on a regular basis and on the list of PC causes of the week, this does not mean that his behavior should go overlooked. I think certainly contacting the dean of students is a great idea. make sure that office knows what occurred first so that if anything happens during the course of the semester, you have documentation that the conversation occurred. If you know any of the other students that were present in the room at the time the comments were made, you might want to speak with them and remind them of the occurrence in case you need them to recall it at some point in the future.

Sorry. I can't for the life of me figure what goes through some people's heads sometimes. Hang in there!
Diagnosed CD in 93'. Currently taking Humira, and darvoset for pain. Also getting acupuncture and chinese herbs as well as a massage when I can afford it. 107 lb

"I cannot promise that change will make things better, but change must occur if things are to become better"


belleenstein
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 3/9/2008 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Stay focussed on what it is that you want to achieve. Do you want an apology? Do you want protection? Do you want revenge? Do you want justice? Do you want to soothe your feelings of impotence, embarrassment and invasion? Do you want to ensure that this incident is used as a learning experience to reduce the possibility that it doesn't happen again? There are many reasons to act. Just be sure before you act that you know what you are setting out to accomplish. If your action reflects your motivation you have the potential to transform humiliation into self-validation.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 3/9/2008 11:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Mark,
If he doesn't get what he wants/needs from our more peaceful methods then please do rant about litigation and all that other stuff. In proper order its another tool to use against idiots in hight places.
Sj

Illini
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 3/9/2008 11:46 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with what's already been said, especially by Kittikat. But I just wanted to add that your own discomfort, and this guy's clear negativity towards you, will cause your grades to suffer regardless. You should NOT stay in that class. Your focus should be on how to get out of the class without suffering any more, i.e. you should be refunded the tuition money or be able to switch professors/classes at no cost.

Since you are at a major university, you probably have free legal services provided. They can help advise you. There is also probably a university ombudsman. Their job is to mediate such problems.
 


73monte
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1497
   Posted 3/9/2008 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
First of all, I don't think it's worth reacting to the degree of a formal complaint. You are not dealing with a case of rudeness or disrespect so much as ignorance. The fact that he didn't ask for specifics about your medical issues before passing judgement shows he's not likely someone who would like to be enlightened either. Focus on your class and marks. I know it's not very scientific, but he'll definitely get his somehow, someway, we all do. You might not be there to see it, but it will go that way. 
The thing that people like this hate more than anything, is when you don't react to their ignorance and stupidity. Keep you relationship with him strictly business, speak to him when you have to and be cordial about it. Don't let him see that you're affected by his comments. If he brings up Crohn's, avoid the topic as best as you can. Take a whatever you say attitude.
It's a way of telling him that he's an idiot, without calling him one. Your also telling him that he's not worth your time because he's below you. Just my opinion, but let's just say I've had years of experience dealing with A-------.
 
My daughter was diagnosed Feb. 19/07, (13 yrs. old at time of diagnosis), with Crohn's of the Terminal Illium. Initially, 9 weeks of Prednisone, currently taking 2000mgs of Pentasa.


Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 3/9/2008 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
This should be addressed. You are not the only person with a disability that this guy is going to have to deal with. I'd be worried that this guy is going to mark your work unfairly, even if you let his unprofessional (and discriminatory) behavior go.

He now knows about your disability but has basically said he is unsympathetic. How can that not affect your school work from his class?

What an unfortunate situation. However you handle this, stay calm and level-headed.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 3/9/2008 2:48 PM (GMT -7)   
All I want to say is your history teacher is way out of line and about the biggest jerk, he'll get his, one way or another.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 3/9/2008 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   
As a PhD student I think this is grossly inappropriate and needs to be addressed. Of course I have no problem with squaring away this situation, because I have so many hours (and a great GPA) and money in my university. It is your money I do think you need to report this to disability services and to the Dean of Student Life.
Crohn's Co-moderator

We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants)
Praise in public, chew in private.
Make sure your suffering has meaning....

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 3/9/2008 4:07:48 PM (GMT-6)


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 3/9/2008 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not familiar with the US university system (Navy? yogaprof?) but, if the man's young, it's possible that he's a PhD student trying to earn some extra money to fund his research. It's also possible he's a new graduate who doesn't have tenure.

University departments (here, anyway) have a staff member designated to oversee the teaching staff, and another staff member who takes care of the PhD and MA students. You might get some help by approaching either of those staff members and letting them know that the department's training sessions (which I'm sure they give new staff members) on sensitivity / disability awareness / inclusion are ... well... not working.

'xcuse the rambling. It's early and I'm not thinking straight.

Ivy.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 3/9/2008 3:10 PM (GMT -7)   
That was exactly what I was thinking ivy, he might be research, TA, or just have to teach so he can get his grants, but that definitely does not excuse what he did.
Crohn's Co-moderator

We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants)
Praise in public, chew in private.
Make sure your suffering has meaning....


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 3/9/2008 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
It might give the uni more scope to discipline him, though, if he isn't tenured.

I find it incredible that this has even happened. I'm so sorry, Malibu. How important is this class? Are you a history major and is this a class that you *must* take, or are you able to swap into another class?
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.


apalaura
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 3/9/2008 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
The Crohnie's need to show up to his class one day...he needs an education!
Dx'd 5/07, azasan, florastor, caltrate, fish oil, cod liver oil


CrazyHarry
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 3/9/2008 4:19 PM (GMT -7)   
unfortunately in life we'll always have some harsh and insensitive people come and go in our lives, crohn's or not. from my experience in college with this disease, all you can do is remind yourself that once the class is over, you'll hopefully never see this person or have another class with him as the prof. and all likelyhood is that you wont ever see this person again as colleges are so big. a C grade is passing, that is all you need. a degree only opens up doors. but you have a choice as to how his attitude and actions will affect you. once you learn this then life becomes easier. it truly does. it took me a while to learn this but once i did was very happy and wished i learned it much earlier. you can also look at as an opportunity to open this man's eyes to a disease he seems to know nothing about. by repaying him with kindness and patience he may come to understand. keep him updated of your health when you can. i know it will be tough, who wants to talk to a person who is spiteful, but by extending a hand to him and keeping informed in your life and befriending him, so to speak, you may just win him over. it is amazing people's reactions when they are met with the antithesis of their conduct, especially repeatedly. consider it an experiment as this will give you something to do with the class and make you look forward to going instead of dreading it, which will only cause you more stress and pressure and possibly exacerbate the crohns. not every one we meet in life will be be understanding. life is what you make of it. everything, no matter negative or positive, is an opportunity waiting for you to take advantage of.
Crazy Harry

---------------------------------------------
Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07


gachrons
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 3/9/2008 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I hope you somehow get this problem solved so that you can learn and enjoy learning don't let the inapproiate behaviour interfere with your education . Hopefully there is someone who can help you deal with this problem learning is great but one doesn't need to learn from that sort of behaviour after all that's not what you are paying for. Hope your recovery is coming good and hang in there. Let us know how things go. lol gail

lilturbo
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 3/9/2008 5:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Fight back! I'm tired of insensitive morons who open their mouths before they think. Obviously we've all got your back! Good luck, but speak out! I'm sorry you had to go through this, but you've got a GREAT case against him. Stay strong!
turboemma.blogspot.com/


misspriss82
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 221
   Posted 3/9/2008 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
What an idiot!! I agree with everyone that has posted, and its unfortunate that you are not alone in this type of situation. I had a statistics professor in college that was such a, well, not a nice man. For starters, he wrote the book for the class, so he already thought he was a know it all, but he also had the strictest rules. If you missed ONE Day (dr's excuse, hospital, snowed in), no matter WHAT the excuse, you were dropped ONE letter grade!! I hadn't been diagnosed at that time, but was in and out of the dr's office trying to find out what was wrong. Needless to say, I was forced to drop the class b/c I was failing. The guy had no sympathy whatsoever towards anything.

There are people out there that think they can use their "power" to overcome you. What your professor did was wrong, but if you fight back, he may "punish" you for it with your grade. Its a hard decision to figure out what to do, but I think I would write a letter to the dean as well.

I ALSO think that you give your professor the book: 100 Questions about Crohn's disease. Highlight the areas where it says there is severe pain involved, medicines, surgeries, strict diets, etc. What a Jack-a...well, you get the idea. People just don't get it!
26 y/o, diagnosed at 25 y/o
Asacol 400mg 3 pills 3x daily
Entocort, 3 pills daily
Upset stomach daily, tired all the time (except when on Prednisone), occasional abdominal pain
Weigh loss, but scared that once I start the Entocort where will be lots of weight gain :(


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 3/9/2008 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
For the way that teacher spoke to you, I say he has crohns of the mouth with the verbal diarhea that came out of it.
 
"all in your head" ya right!

:)


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


bentwistle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 330
   Posted 3/9/2008 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I usually say I'd never wish this DD on anyone...but perhaps that professor could stand to live a while in your shoes!! He wouldn't be singing that tune then. I'd definitely tell the disability people of his inappropriate, insensitive remarks and see what they can do for you.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Bev

bluepurl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 3/9/2008 8:05 PM (GMT -7)   
definitely go to the dean as sjkly recommends. Get a nice paper trail with a formal complaint in case there is retaliation. Switch to a different class or get a refund if possible. Maybe a local chapter of a national nonprofit would have resources as well. The teacher should be reprimanded for his behavior, and you should have never been subjected to such treatment. There's all this craziness about HIPAA in the medical realm, I'm sure the university has something similar about the confidentiality of student health information.

no matter what, YOU are in the right, HE is in the wrong. He would never say some butthead comment like that about a physical challenge, race, gender or religion. He is wrong to make assumptions that you just want to cut class... why would you go through all the effort of the paperwork!? He's just a jerk that's abusing his position of power over you. As tough as it may be, you need to officially stand up to him because he's the type of lowlife that would bully you all semester anyway.

If you don't want to pursue a formal complaint, that's fine too. You've got good folks here in your corner either way! Keep your head held high, and don't let the ******s grind you down.

Aussiegirl2008
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 3/9/2008 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
wow, what an ass!! How rude!!!! I would have been in shock!
I hope you take the advice posted above. Let us know what the outcome is...
hang in there.
:)

praying4healing
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 3/9/2008 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
i havent read everyone elses posts b/c there are so many. But i've gone thru this. When i was in college i took my accomodation letters to all my professors, and then at the end of the semester my teacher tried to give me a C b/c of absences! he'd already signed my letter, so i had to have a meeting with him and the dean of the English Dept. This was very important b/c this was major.

He said he signed it, but i didnt look sick when i didnt "cut" his class. The dean told him he couldnt do it and arrangements would have to be made. In the end i still feel he graded my last works rather harshly and passed me with a B-, i was still rather pissed but i let it go. Now i wish i hadn't.

I would definitely report him, if u dont feel comfortable going to the head of his department, go to your disability office, they are supposed to handle these things on your behalf. Please let us know what happens!
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!
 Temp Ileostomy performed 1/29/08
Still Adusting
 Healingwell.com has been my Godsend...Thank you

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