h2>Valencia College Bans Student Participation in Vaginal Sonograms After Lawsuit
ORLANDO, Fla., May 27 (UPI) — Valencia College in Orlando, Fla., has banned students from participating in transvaginal examinations as part of the school’s medical curriculum after the school was sued by two students.
The president of the college, Sandy Shugart, issued a statement Tuesday saying the school’s medical diagnostic sonography program would be discontinued.
“Following a comprehensive external investigation and a thorough internal review, we identified teaching methods that employ sophisticated simulators and have decided to permanently discontinue the use of student volunteers for transvaginal ultrasound scanning,” she said.
The school’s practice came under fire last week when two students filed a lawsuit saying they were forced to undergo examination of their sexual organs or face retaliation, such as reduced grades or being blacklisted by future employers.
The lawsuit claims that during orientation, students were encouraged to “undergo invasive transvaginal ultrasound procedures in order to become better sonography technicians.”
“Valencia positioned these transvaginal probes as voluntary, but its actual policy and practice was that they were not,” according to the lawsuit, which also said college staff told students “they could find another school if they did not wish to be probed” after students complained.
Shugart, in her statement Tuesday, reiterated the school’s stance that the transvaginal examinations were voluntary.
“I assure you, at Valencia College, demonstrating our respect for and commitment to students is paramount, so last summer when we received a student complaint about participating in voluntary transvaginal ultrasound scans, we suspended the practice and commissioned a review by an independent third-party expert,” she said. “The review verified that Valencia administered the program safely, professionally and respectfully while maintaining the private and voluntary nature of student participation.”
Andrew V. Pestano contributed to this report.