(WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 8, 2014) —Maryland student Dustin Buxton was twice denied admission to The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC)’s Radiation Therapy Program because of his Christian faith, a new lawsuit alleges, despite his credentials surpassing the program’s standards for qualified, competitive candidates.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), representing Buxton, filed a lawsuit today on his behalf against the CCBC for religious discrimination. The organization already represents Brandon Jenkins, another student denied admission to CCBC’s Radiation Program because of his Christian faith, in a separate legal complaint filed in April.
“Buxton is more than qualified for this program. That alone should warrant admission,” said David French, ACLJ Senior Counsel. “The program director’s hostility toward religion and the Christian faith, in particular, should in no way influence admissions decisions for prospective students. A candidate’s religious affiliation should have no influence on their ability to perform adequately at the university. This kind of illegal discrimination questions the credibility and integrity of the admission process at CCBC.”
During his admission interview, Buxton told the interviewer that his faith drives his morals, in response to a specific question about what he views as his guiding life principles. His answer was deemed unacceptable by Adrienne Dougherty, program director of the CCBC’s Radiation Therapy Program, who told Buxton in response that “[t]his is a field that involves death and dying; but religion cannot be brought up in the clinic by therapists or student.”
In response to his religious expression, CCBC put an 85-year Dean’s hold on Buxton’s account, barring him from attending classes at CCBC. The hold has since been removed after the ACLJ became involved, though the school still refuses admittance for Buxton into its Radiation Therapy Program.
The ACLJ represents Buxton and Jenkins in defending the students’ rights to adhere to the Christian faith without fear of discrimination at school or in the workplace.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington.