Home / Spring 2016 / 2016-03-24 / Pregnant student shamed and suing

Pregnant student shamed and suing

Tara Markus, 21, cuddles with daughter Jaayden, 3-months-old, at her family home in Elgin, Illinois, April 3, 2013. Tara first learned she was pregnant after visiting the ultrasound mobile RV that was parked in the JB's Pub parking lot in Elgin. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Written by Jada Dukes, Staff Writer

Recently, a former graduate student at Wayne state University filed an $850,000 law suit against the university because she was the victim of gross discrimination while on a social work internship.

According to USA Today, the student, Tina Varlesi, had entered the graduate program at Wayne State for the fall 2006 semester and in her second and final years in the program, Varlesi took on an internship with the Salvation Army at the request of Wayne State.

Prior to her starting the internship, Varlesi became pregnant. USA Today reported that once Varlesi started the internship, a female supervisor bombarded her with questions regarding her pregnancy and her personal life, ultimately embarrassing her in front of her fellow classmates.  The supervisor is said to have repeatedly asked Varlesi to “stop rubbing her belly” and to” wear looser clothing,” because the men who were present were being “turned on by her pregnancy.” Sadly, the administrators at Wayne State sided with the supervisor and her ridiculous requests. Varlesi ultimately received a failing grade in the internship which prevented her from being able to graduate on time.

How long will it take before women no longer have to fight for the right to own their bodies?

It is disgusting to think that a woman’s body is never truly her own, even when she is trying to enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of life on earth. Why didn’t the administrators at Wayne State ever take the time to ponder over the fact that maybe they shouldn’t place their student in an environment where her body is being objectified by those around her rather than suggest that she take preventative measures herself? Women are blessed with the miraculous gift of being able to bring life into this world and each and every woman deserves the utmost respect for this. Varlesi was wrongly denied this respect and, by the same token, robbed of her entitlement to be treated like a human being instead of a sexual object.

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