Can I be kicked out of school because of a broken leg?

by Stacie

The other day I fell off my porch and broke the bone directly above my ankle in my leg. I am currently enrolled in a nursing program and I only have 4 weeks of class left. When I first found out my leg was broken, I called my teacher and told her. She said that I could still come to class on crutches.

During my 4 weeks of class, I also have clinicals two times a week. Every Tuesday and Thursday. When I showed up for clinicals on Tuesday morning, my teacher told me I could not be at clinicals on crutches. I am only allowed to miss 3 clinicals a semester. Since I have 4 weeks left, that is 8 clinicals. If I miss more than the 3, they will kick me out of the program.

I am still very willing to go to clinicals and get my work done. I do not slack on my work and I am currently doing everything I was before I broke my leg. I just need help walking. I also asked them about getting a knee scooter to help me walk instead of crutches but again they said no.

When I went to my Orthopedic Surgeon, he said that they cannot do this to me and being that my leg is a temporary disability, they have to help accommodate me. The only other issue is that at the being of the semester, I signed a document stating that I was of sound mind and body and had no health injuries. However, at that time I didn't. I did not plan to break my leg.

What I am curious about is if they can indeed keep me from coming to clinicals and in return basically kick me out of school? I don't want to fail these last 4 weeks because of an accident. Is there anything I can do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I be kicked out of school because of a broken leg?":

Stacie (Iowa):

When you first applied to the nursing school you had to have received a number of documents explaining the school's policies and their attendance requirements.

Once you were accepted you probably again received additional documents which reviewed the classes you will have to take, the grades you will have to maintain, and the number of times you must appear at class.

Somewhere in all those documents should be the school's policy about attendance. If there isn't any mention about accommodating people like yourself who are temporarily disabled, you may have a problem. If the school is a private one they, and you, will be governed by the documents which recite the agreement you had with the school when admitted.

If the school is state or city run you may have more luck. If it isn't a private concern and is a governmental one, there may be some sort of an appeals process. Especially one dealing with non-self inflicted injuries like yours.

From the facts you present it seems the school may in fact be a private one. If that is the case, unfortunately there is little you can do unless you can show the school breached any of the agreements it made when you first attended the school.

Read every document carefully. If you find there is a place in the document which addresses the possibility of temporary disability then you may be able to show that information to the school's management in an attempt to graduate timely.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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