Law School Tells Sick Student He Should Go To The Back Of The Class

Misbehaving lawyers have long been a staple at Above the Law. But 2022 is a year of innovation — law school administrations are doing their best to end up on a shit list, and who are we not to force them? Move over U. Chicago! Bad as they were, their administration’s response to requests for accommodation was a polite recommendation to “take a leave of absence.” Still awful, but at least they used nice, politically correct™️ language. This week’s Fallen Star is Texas A&M University School of Law – their COVID-19 accommodation policy was simply to bring segregation back. Say what you like about the south, but at least they’re upfront.

https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdhN1pTW/

On top of that, it’s also kind of worse what she left? From a tipster who also attends Texas A&M:

This semester, TAMU prohibits virtual learning without exception for any student (as evidenced by this student’s experience). TAMU also does not require masks, vaccinations or COVID-19 tests. Teachers are not allowed to hold virtual classes; many (especially those who are immunocompromised themselves) have asked the administration for the option, but the administration remains firm in not allowing virtual classrooms. Professors have discretion to record lectures and distribute recordings to students who are missing due to COVID, but this is discretionary.

There are no exceptions to the attendance policy for students who must be quarantined due to a positive test or exposure, and students who miss classes due to an administrative withdrawal from the COVID risk of the course. This effectively encourages sick and/or exposed students to attend classes, as they will be penalized if they stay home.

Last semester, TAMU required twice-weekly testing for unvaccinated students; this semester, TAMU has eliminated this requirement. The Dean of TAMU justified this by knowing that transmission rates of Omicron are equal in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. So instead of requiring testing for everyone, TAMU threw the baby out with the bathwater and eliminated mandatory testing altogether. There were administrative concerns that if everyone were to be tested, too many people would be forced into quarantine.

I’d like to remind everyone that just like the $6 million man, Texas A&E owns the technology. The air has been spiced with the VID for two years. None of this is new, and while the school is unwilling to renew its Zoom subscription, recording lectures have been around for decades. Frankly, in my opinion, the school’s treatment seems calculated, skillful and cruel. Some rando don’t wear a mask in public because of “muh freedom” or to own the libs is one thing, but a school that goes all out like this is another caliber of douchebaggery. My first thought was that there was no way A&M’s response to Ms. Reed was even legal — apparently it must be an ADA violation or something.

I hope there will be more resistance from students and staff. The University of Chicago professor’s open letter was a much-appreciated act of solidarity, and I hope something similar will come out of it at A&M. And I hope it has some bite. Whether it was a boycott of the school or people sharing stories of the school discriminating against them, it cost the school more than the donors are proving. Maybe donor dollars are going elsewhere or the government is cutting their funding. Who knows. She should really look into an ADA costume though.


Chris Williams became Social Media Manager and Associate Editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the team, he moonlighted as an underage Memelord™ in the Law School Memes for Edgy Facebook group T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University at St. Louis School of Law. He’s a former boatbuilder who can’t swim, a published author on critical racing theory, philosophy and humor, and has a love for cycling that sometimes annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at cwilliams@abovethelaw.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.

Nancy I. Romero