Home Scandal and Gossip Jennifer Burbella, nursing student who failed twice sues school for $75K

Jennifer Burbella, nursing student who failed twice sues school for $75K

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Jennifer Burbella
Is one nursing school at fault for the failure of nursing student, Jennifer Burbella (pictured) from passing?

Jennifer Burbella a Pennsylvania nursing student has raised eyebrows after launching a $75 000 lawsuit against a local university after twice failing to pass her required course.

In her suit which cites suffering anxiety and depression, the nursing student alleges her Misericordia University professor did not do enough to help her pass a class on adult health patterns reports The Citizens Voice

The suit acknowledges that nursing professor Christina Tomkins gave her a distraction-free environment and extra time for her final exam when she took the class a second time but didn’t respond to telephoned questions as promised, creating even more stress.

Burbella also alleges that the university along with Tomkins, the university’s president Thomas J Botzman and Cynthia Mailloux, chairwoman of the nursing department, violated the Federal Rehabilitation Act. 

Entering the university’s nursing program in 2010, the suit argues Jennifer Burbella struggled toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing because of her conditions and experienced great anxiety from social and academic challenges and family medical issues.

‘(Burbella) struggled throughout her studies at Misericordia University, but always continued to seek a bachelor’s degree in nursing and appeared to be moving toward that goal, albeit with some average, but primarily below average grades,’ her attorney Harry P McGrath wrote. 

After failing the first time, Burbella claims the university forced her to re-take the class in a summer session beginning four days later, causing ‘great trepidation.’

During the final exam, Burbella said the Catholic university gave another disabled student better accommodations. 

The lawsuit also claims that she tried to call the nursing professor repeatedly on her mobile phone during the final exam but did not receive a response.

Slight pause. Have you ever received a response from your professor during exams on their mobile phone?

Reiterated Burbella’s legal counsel: ‘Professor Tomkins’ failure to be available to (Burbella) on numerous occasions during the examination created an even more stressful environment for the student, all of which can be verified by Megan Hurley, a counselor at Misericordia University, who witnessed (Burbella) attempting to make calls to Professor Tomkins on several occasions during the exam and breaking down and crying when Tomkins did not answer.’

Burbella did not receive a grade sufficient enough to pass the class and subsequently did not graduate with a nursing degree, according to the lawsuit.

To date the school has declined to answer media overtures.

Jennifer Burbella
Misericordia University
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  • upagainstthewall

    I want to thank you for “accepting challenge” so to speak. I even rushed to my computer as I wanted to be able to answer you without my spellcheck creating errors for me. LOL

    I think it is rather strange that you have made a speculation to state that I am a non-medical professional, a nurse, or even a nursing student. Very presumptive on your part. As indeed I did work decades again providing home heath care. I realize that CNAs are simply grunt workers. I never had a desire to further my education in nursing as I was more interested in criminal justice.

    Your comment,”(Reminds me of my patient’s question “are you good at starting IVs?” As I reply, “Ha! We’re about to find out aren’t we?”)”, made me realize that you have answered my question as to whether or not you are a competent nurse… I am shocked by your answer and want you to know that you should be fortunate that you have never had a patient like my sister, or anyone else in my family. Its my understanding that if a patient is asking you if you are good at something, that the patient is probably feeling some anxiety… how frightening to know that you would come off with such a callous retort. I assure you that if you were treating some of the people I know, they would surely call the nursing director and report you for minimizing their anxiety and giving such a flippant answer. I am not judging you, perhaps you exaggerated your comment as I surely hope that is the case. I am smiling and thinking of the last nurse that went to draw blood from my sister during an emergency room visit. As I told you, she is a retired RN. It just so happens that she has a deep set fear of needles when she is in the position of being the patient. In a recent visit she was having a really hard time with getting her blood drawn. She asked the nurse to count to three so she could be ready. The nurse looked at her and rolled her eyes as she stuck the needle in without counting to three. I tell you, the head nurse from the ER department took over my sister’s patient care after she got up and walked to the desk and told them that the nurse was no longer allowed to provide any care for her due to her callous indifference. Perhaps you might consider telling a patient, that questions whether or not you are good at IVs, that you have many years of experience and you like to consider yourself one of the best. I am sure that will provide much more calm to an anxious patient instead of a flippant “Ha! We’re about to find out aren’t we?”. (my opinion as a patient who has had to have my blood drawn multiple times and as a health care aide who was taught to explain and comfort those that questioned my abilities) Lucky for nurses, I personally do not have a fear of needles. Maybe I did at one time in my life, but I assure you that the nurses and phlebotomists that ever drew my blood were always comforting and their comfort helped me to ease my own anxieties.

    I also want to tell you that I have a step mother who was also a professional in nursing with the following:
    MSN, RN, CEN, FAEN. I am always amazed at the fact that that woman was able to stay employed due to her own negative bias towards some of her patients, let alone the children in her life. If we look at all of her credentials she looks amazing… but sitting at a dinner table watching her backhand my infant (11months) for dropping peas on her freshly mopped floor leads me to have formed a very different opinion. That woman was a monster and you have to believe me when I say this… never again has she ever laid eyes on my child. Its been nearly 30 years but I never saw a reason to look back as I know that there are some people that get into the nursing profession that are just hateful people to begin with.

  • DontMessWithTXRN

    Nice affront! Fascinating to gain insight from a non-medical professional, a nurse, or even a nursing student. Testing accommodations are reasonable. Legally and ethically the school should have adhered to the accommodations for Ms. Burbella if she had established the requests with her institution within a reasonable timeframe (I.e.before the final exam) Here’s some insight for you from a nurse. Nursing courses come with a syllabus at the beginning and often before which outlines what is needed to pass the course. Usually the nursing courses’ grade is based 80% on tests and 20% on clinical therefore testing competence or having the knowledge is a must. The exams are more challenging than a typical regurgitation of information exam seen in a college exam. I also feel she should have been aware of her chances of passing the course the “first” time she was enrolled in the same course because if she failed two out of three or four exams logic should have allowed her to deductively reason failing was imminent. She should have gotten tutoring, assistance from a classmate, sought out testing services for test taking skills, taken advantage of professor office hours before the final exam. She failed an entire nursing course twice. Which allows me to infer that she didn’t learn the necessary steps to be successful from her initial enrollment. Moreover the attorney said most of her grades were below average. To a nursing professor that indicates either the student doesn’t care or the profession might not be a good fit. I apologize for perpetuating the stigma as you retorted. In reply to your question: “So why in the hell would that make you think that she cannot practice good patient care?” Clinicals are important but the knowledge is equally important which must be proven on the exams, exams without clinical =fail and clinical without exams =fail. I personally don’t think that she is incapable of good patient care. However, she has to prove it to the school and eventually the board of nursing through an exam. Which from that question I can see you did not realize that a nurse’s value is weighted on exams. Consider yourself informed. Incompetence is actually verbiage the board of nursing uses to categorize nurses who harm patients intentionally or unintentionally. But I forgive you for your use of profanity. She should not just suck up her “anxiety and depression”, nor should anyone else. She should also not have to suck up mistreatment or discrimination for her disability. Disabilities also shouldn’t be crutches used as excuses. She should suck up taking responsibility for her own education, being proactive and not waiting until the final exam, going beyond the professor to the dean of the college before the final exam, she should suck up the difficulty of the nursing exams, the stress that are illicited from the exams, seek out a therapist, psychiatrist to get some Xanax and Prozac or find a different profession. Because nursing is not ginger snaps and roses. Your response about my colleagues is irrelevant and a false assumption because they know I have ADHD and treat me no different than the other nurses. To you Upagainstthewall, I like that riveting question “are you a competent nurse?” (Reminds me of my patient’s question “are you good at starting IVs?” As I reply, “Ha! We’re about to find out aren’t we?”) Well to your question I say, “challenge accepted!” 🙂 DontMessWithTXRN coming to a hospital near you…

  • upagainstthewall

    One more thing. I think its wonderful that you were able to get your nursing degree. Those of us with ADD/ADHD bring a lot of quick wit to the tables we entertain.

  • upagainstthewall

    I don’t believe Ms. Burbella was suffering anxiety during clinicals. She had asked for reasonable accommodations in order for her to complete her testing. I think its fair to say that a lot of people suffer anxiety during testing.
    The posts displayed were riddled with discrimination towards this woman because of ignorance and myths.
    The scenario you have presented has nothing to do with her requesting reasonable accommodations in order to complete her tests.
    Instead your created scenario would lead others to believe that those suffering anxiety and ADHD/ADD are incompetent and that the public should fear those that have this brain disorder.
    So ask yourself: are you a competent nurse? Are you able to keep your ADD in control so you can perform your duties? ADD/ADHD is often riddled with anxiety, depression, and OCD. Do you think those things should keep people from working in the medical field?
    I love those that work in the medical field that are OCD! They not only check it once or twice… sometimes they check thrice. I also know that those in the medical field that suffer anxiety are sometimes better suited to help others during anxious times.
    Nowhere in the article did it state she was incompetent to care for patients. Nor did it state she has been diagnosed with ADHD. Nor did it state what her diagnosis is at all.
    You stated that you have ADD+GAD. Okay.Here is a scenario to think about…if your coworkers were well aware that you have these brain disorders/ mental illnesses which are major, do you think that they would lose confidence in your ability to perform your duties? I personally believe that they would… even without you making a mistake because that is how rampant stigma and discrimination are against those that have disabilities.
    The point to my posts were to try to get people to understand that there are many medical professionals that do indeed have disorders as well. They have so much to offer the rest of us. We can all make speculations about her disabilities but that is unfair as no one posting is aware of what her disorders are. What we do know is that she asked for reasonable accommodations and did not receive them. So why in the hell would that make you think that she cannot practice good patient care? Sucking it up as you have stated doesn’t work for everyone. In this day and age, sucking it up to avoid criticisms and discriminatory statements is truly just another way of perpetuating stigma… I’m off to have my morning coffee now… that I will be sucking up. 🙂

  • DontMessWithTXRN

    🙂 found this thread as a result of an adhd tangent. My ADHD didn’t allow me to finish reading your post. However, we do have a tendency to hyper focus and exhibit unswerving passion. I’m a nurse with ADHD (inattentive) + GAD. Laura highlights valid examples. However; the practice of nursing is an art of compassion whose very essence is rooted in selflessness and concern for others. Hence, the primary concern of any board of nursing is “the public” not the “nurse.” Which I think you fail to understand Upagainstthewall. Nursing is not about Ms. Burbella having a disability it’s whether or not she can competently take care of the public and keep them alive. All of us in this profession suffered in some form of this and sucked it up now we proudly sign RN, BSN behind our names. Let’s put you in a scenario of having a severely anxious nurse Ms. Burbella as your beloved child, husband or parent’s nurse, suddenly your loved one is “crashing” or actively dying and you have Ms. Burbella as your family’s nurse Dr. says give dopamine and she gives Demerol in turn killing/severely debilitating your loved one. Are you still compassionate for Ms. Burbella? Do you still feel as passionate for her and her “destiny” to become a nurse? Or are you more concerned about your loved one and the fact that a senseless sentinel event occurred due to a nurse’s incompetence to serve who…? Herself? No the public,Upagainstthewall .

  • GXWalsh

    If you treat a student favorably (above and beyond their accomadation letter) you are breaking the law. Under the law you can only do what the letter says-no more, no less.

  • The Professor

    I am indeed a COLLEGE PROFESSOR (not a school teacher) with a PhD. And no, I am not “burnt out” since I have been teaching 11 years and still considered “junior” faculty at a pretty prestigious university. For professors, there are standards and limits to what we are entitled to know and what we are entitled to do. DSS sets those standards and limits with the students. Since they are 18 YEARS OLD OR OLDER, THE STUDENT has to decide to 1. register with DSS for their disability, 2. allow their parents access to their educational records, which includes email or telephone contact with the Dean and DSS. In no way, shape or form does a parent have the right to contact me directly, and I certainly won’t address the parent. I am teaching ADULTS, after all. I will say, the most difficult thing for me as a professor is that some students — and their parents — want their disability screened (kept secret). I have no idea why I’m giving them extra time or a quiet spot to take tests and that actually hinders me from helping. If I knew more then I can help more. For example, this semester I had a student who was really proactive in her own care and education, and it made it so much easier for me to give her the help she needed. She was upfront and honest from the beginning of the semester. We kept it very discrete, she met me during office hours, and she did really well this semester. If she needed to leave the classroom I KNEW why. If she was running late, I knew why. If she feel apart in my office, I knew why. It made it easier to help her become the student she really is — a damned good student. BUT SHE DID IT. Not me. I didn’t pass her, SHE passed her with a really good grade. SHE EARNED IT. I didn’t give it to her. BIG distinction. (For the record, dear parents: I don’t fail your kid. THEY FAIL THEMSELVES.)

    You need to understand, college professors aren’t always privy to this information and we only have what DSS tells us. I am ONLY allowed to deal with DSS and the Dean unless the student involves me in his or her education (and that’s all students). In a college setting, your child is allowed whatever is decided upon by their health professional and DSS — nothing more, nothing less. By law, I am required to follow those standards set AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR. If it wasn’t in writing that this student required direct access to the professor during test time AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, they are not entitled to it regardless of what was “agreed upon” verbally. And, considering this case, it appears to me that it’s the student’s word against the professor’s, which is usually the case in failing situations. What is going to happen is the university is going to look at what has been filed by DSS. If the professor didn’t comply to those entitlements then by all means, reprimand the professor and the school. If the student is now saying that she deserves other entitlements regardless of what was filed at the beginning of the year then it’s on the student, not the school.

    You’ve made some pretty bold assumptions about me as a professor and I resent it. I always go out of my way for ALL of my students. If they confide in me about their disability and they aren’t registered at DSS I encourage them to do so and I encourage them to get their health care professional involved. Often times the school’s assessment doesn’t match that of their provider and that will need to be addressed. I do this not for my class, but because I know that what is registered at DSS is what counts. Nothing else. That paperwork protects the student in ALL of their classes and gives them what they are entitled to.

    Furthermore, you’ve made this case PERSONAL. This student isn’t you or your kids. It’s not “your [my] child.” I’ve seen students do this kind of thing before. They aren’t registered with DSS or they are registered for one thing, know their entitlements for that specific thing, start failing or failed the final/class, and then start kicking up a stink about their disability and their rights. ALL students. ALL OF THEM need to go over those papers AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR. If it doesn’t comply to their disability at the beginning of the year THEY need to follow through and change it. Yes, they have disabilities, BUT they are in college and will be treated like an adult. Therefore, THEY need to sign the confidentiality papers to involve their parents in their education. THEY need to follow up with DSS. And THEY need to involved their professors. And when it comes to the work: writing papers, midterms, and finals it really is UP TO THEM to pass.

  • upagainstthewall

    You truly are an idiot that clearly doesn’t understand that people with mental health issues can and do function. Perhaps someone should choose biased people like you, to make decisions for ppl applying for disability…you’d have a lot of ppl approved. However something tells me you just complain to hear yourself complain.
    This stigma you are perpetuating is disgusting. How do you know if she would fail as a nurse? You don’t do you? You’re simply there on your ass trashing the abilities of someone you don’t know because they have a disability…anxiety …seriously?!
    It’s people that stigmatize others that miss out. You read this and came to the conclusion that she can’t perform the duties of a nurse. You’re ignorant …perhaps someday you’ll realize that the real sickness lies within you. What are so afraid of…all jennifer wanted was to take the test with the accomodations in place.
    Yet you have trashed her abilities and made degrading statements…do you know her? NO. Has she made a mistake in providing care for you? NO. .was she accused of anything that would prove her to be incompetent?NO.
    You claim to be worried about the welfare of other people…the patients…well pull your head out of your ass…nurses…and those that provide care talk about the sores of society…I believe you would be included in that pool. You are a hate monger. You are discriminating against a complete stranger… But something tells me you discriminate against all that suffer…
    Hey moron…you would exacerbate my anxiety…even online you make me feel sick to my stomach. Can you do me and the other 40 million people in our country a favor? Learn the facts before you use your keyboard to perpetuate your ignorance,bias, and myths regarding disorders you clearly do not know enough about.
    Here’s a link so you can get some statistics …hopefully you will understand that there are many people that can and do function in society with anxiety.
    http://www.thekimfoundation.org/html/about_mental_ill/statistics.html

    Once you have read this…please consider leaving the planet…apparently there are 40 million people that could avoid your disgusting views that have no place in today’s world.

  • upagainstthewall

    What makes her worthless to you? In all seriousness, is it the fact that she is standing up for her rights to have her reasonable accommodations granted? or is the fact that you are fearful of “anxiety” and may believe the myths regarding mental illness? Well big boy, what gives?

  • upagainstthewall

    Anxiety does not interfere with a person’s intelligence. It is sad that you are failing to comprehend that we already have many successful doctors, nurses, and lawyers as well as other professionals that have mental health issues.

    If you don’t like that fact then do you own medical services for yourself. Perhaps you can go to Laura Mullens candle factory that she is planning on opening in the future. Or better yet you can apply to be her assistant Cannot. Understand. Non-traditional. Thinking and both of you can have cards that say CUNT placed in front of you should anyone ask you for advice regarding what careers to pursue.

    Heaven forbid should you ever suffer depression, or anxiety, like so many people do. Are you going to shun the advice of a professional should you find out that they too have a mental health issue? I can now clearly see why Ms. Linehan chose to keep her own mental health issues to herself. She created a program for those with mental health issues. She waited decades before acknowledging the fact that she too has been riddled with mental disorders all her life. Her program has helped many to overcome the obstacles that some disorders present themselves with. I understand why she waited … because those of you that are biased present the biggest obstacle to those of us that have differences.

    I am glad that the professionals in my life have been able to feel open enough to share their own difficulties that they deal with as well. It lets me know that they do indeed have the capacity for empathy and compassion. I would never want a “perfect” human to offer me any medical advice or counseling service. They consider OCD a gift for those that practice medicine. Who wouldn’t … afterall they are going to be checking everything thrice, if not more.

    Since you have stated that you are scared for the lives of future victims. I want to remind you that you should take off your blinders … many professionals have disabilities. They are not obligated to disclose them… I have been really blessed with the health providers in my lifetime. Some were ADHD, depressed, ocd, panic disordered. one attorney was bi-polar, another was full of anxiety, and I even had TWO police officers tell me that it was okay to take medications for depression as they divulged that they too were doing the same … I am sitting here knowing that they were human enough to share their vulnerabilities with me. I love them all more today … especially after reading the things you have posted.

    So you can go ahead and consider me “truly evil” for advocating for people with disabilities. However try to understand that those with disabilities are needed more in the medical professions than those of you that cannot comprehend compassion and understanding.

    I worked in the medical field decades ago. After working at a facility for a while, I started having problems. I couldn’t get out the door… imagine that. The idea of having to deal with stigma made me sick… literally… lol they labeled it “irritable bowel syndrome”. My coworkers would be considered the type of people that you so blindly would accept as having skill set and acuity to handle their jobs. To leave a patient in a chair while in loose restraints, so that they slid down and nearly strangled themselves… that was evil… those of us that are anxious knew to check on our patients more often. When a former teacher I knew ended up there, I was torn when a non-disabled aide left her covered in feces as he stepped out to smoke a cigarette. Again I simply could not understand the selfishness of someone working as a caregiver. Nor did I take it well when they back handed an elderly man for being incontinent. Those are the types of people you want working in the medical field? Okay call me evil, if you must.

    I just realized something … lol… your medical professionals see you as a number and not as a human … I am nearly 50 years old and all my life medical professionals have extended empathy and compassion by divulging their struggles… apparently that see you for what you are and have decided that you are the kind that all of us need to be protected from… including themselves. So who is truly evil now?

  • Homeward Bound

    Why should innocent patients have to be subject to her incompetence due to HER psychological issues? Nursing is NOT the right place for her. SUING doesn’t change that fact.

  • Homeward Bound

    Agreed, she’ll never pass the state exams.

  • Homeward Bound

    AND patients have the right to have a competent person helping them when they are in their most vulnerable points in life. Now I may have to worry about someone having a nervous breakdown while I’m in need of help? It’s so sad that YOU are so blinded and so unconcerned about other people’s welfare that you wouldn’t want the absolute best person for the job taking care of patients in a high stress environment. This is about OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES, not some person who is more suited to a different job. The only bias and discrimination is YOURS. I personally hope she loses her case, has to pay the court cost for the university and they kick her out. Good luck with her passing the state requirements. That’s another whole battery of exams she can’t boo hoo to someone about and pass. She loses either way. And that is great for any of her future would be victims. It looks like they will stay safe and cared for by someone who has the skill set and mental acuity to handle the job. You are truly evil.

  • upagainstthewall

    Male escorts make much more than $10 an hour. I think at this point you should be jumping up and down and being grateful for your genitals.

  • upagainstthewall

    Something is seriously wrong with you. You are so asinine …asking if I would want a “blind” pilot. And your ridiculous example of a surgeon with a disability effecting muscle control… when I first read your post I was angry… then I had to put myself in your shoes… I am sorry that you were born developmentally disabled. It’s okay Laura…honest, we all understand.

    I have met many nurses, doctors, and therapists that have mental health issues such as anxiety. Who are you to say who can or who cannot succeed in the medical field? Are you an expert? or are you just a bitch that seems to think that professionals should be free of disabilities? Truth be known, I know it is the latter.

    Laura Mullen is a woman who perpetuates stigma against people with mental health issues. Yes that is exactly who you are. Do you know Jennifer? Do you know how her anxiety effects her ability to test? With your genetic disorder (retardation) you failed to read where it stated that it was agreed upon that she would have access to an instructor during the test.

    Your statement, “The fact that someone has a disability is a terrible thing” , makes me wonder why you would try to pretend that you are not biased against the disabled when that statement alone is full of bias and stigma just waiting to jump out of the box. Who are you to say that a disability is a terrible thing? (I AM SO SICK OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU)

    People with disabilities are people! I am sorry that you have not managed to learn how to look past another person’s differences. Or maybe you are just so engulfed with perfection that you can’t pull your head out of your ass to look at another human without focusing on the differences they have.

    Are you perfect Laura? I want you to know that I am laughing hard at just how much of an ass you have made yourself out to be on here. Do you think I would trade my disabilities so that I could stand on your side of the block and shun, degrade, and stigmatize others? You, my Dear, are out of your f__ng mind.

    I have learned to love myself in spite of any difficulties I have dealing with ADhD, or the other things that commonly occur with it ( anxiety, depression). So I am a little CDO (OCD) at least I can appreciate the fact that my clothes are hanging according to color… but to you that might seem to be a bit extreme…it is people like you that trigger those with anxiety… its as if you’re so afraid of a mental health issue, that you start to stare too long, or you act edgy because of your ignorance with the particular disorder. I have spent decades learning to overcome my social phobias… now when someone continues to stare, I search for something on their face to focus on… and then do my best to resist the temptation to tell them that their pimple, mole, or blackhead is huge.

    “The disabled should be given as much help as possible to achieve their goals but they need to accept that there are limitations to that help and limitations to what they may be able to achieve because of their disabilities”, another statement that shows your inability to not discriminate against those with disabilities. Laura Dear, would you like to be appointed the person who gets to tell another person what those limitations are? I can imagine you sitting there and wondering if there is actually a position to be had where you can decide who can pursue their dreams and who cannot.

    I envision a building where all disabled people will go before applying for scholarships so that they can make sure not to exceed those limitations that you will be honored to bestow upon them. Above your door will be a sign that says, Cannot Understand Non-traditional Thinking… shoot too many letters… how about we just put the letters C. U. N. T. in front of you so everyone knows where to find you so you can help to limit them with your perfection. LOL.

    I find you to be extremely ignorant Laura. Seriously … you are. I would hate to see what would happen to you if you were to find out which of the medical professionals in your life have disabilities. Those that have succeeded in their educational goals have brought some of the most valuable information regarding the disabilities and the people that are effected by them. How dare you think you can just sit on your ass, typing, as if you think you can justify your ignorance.

    I would hate to think that someday, people like yourself, will perpetuate enough hatred and bias that the world will lose out on the gifts that people with mental disabilities share with others. If you are so afraid of us then please go ahead and build that candle factory… lock yourself away from us… as people like me are not going to hide for people that are fearful due to ignorance and myths that they have perpetrated for far too long.
    Hopefully there will be a day when help will be offered to those of you that are devoid of compassion and empathy… until then, those of us that are open about disabilities will just have to endure more of your unjust discrimination and stigma that people like yourself spread.

    Now please feel free to enjoy the link…
    http://www2.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Helpline1&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=4858

    http://www.wcvb.com/health/14414700

  • Laura Mullen

    The fact that someone has a disability is a terrible thing. The American people have done a lot to see that they are given every opportunity to achieve their goals. However, there has to be a compromise between activism for the disabled and also recognizing that some occupations may not be right for disabled individuals. Would you want a blind pilot next time you fly? How about a surgeon with a disability effecting muscle control? Patients depend on nurses too much to keep their cool when everything around them is going wrong to subject them to someone who can’t handle stress. The disabled should be given as much help as possible to achieve their goals but they need to accept that there are limitations to that help and limitations to what they may be able to achieve because of their disabilities. Suing the school sounds like someone just looking for a payday after discovering those limitations.

  • upagainstthewall

    Okay, I will agree that she may not have fully disclosed her disorder as ADHD, and even further state that she may or may not have ADHD. If that is the case, then I am sure that
    it will be decided should the case make it in front of a judge.
    I appreciate the tone of your reply…as you may have noticed with my prior posts, I have been struggling with the stigma of ADHD for decades. That being said, I want to say that I am grateful that your refrained from insulting me for my disabilities. Advocating for my own kids as well as myself has been a challenge due to the myths and misperceptions regarding mental health disorders.
    I understand that anxiety is the disorder Ms. Burbella listed as disorders that may require reasonable accomodations. Perhaps this topic just really hit too close for home for me since my own ADHD is riddled with anxiety and depression.

    “FACT: A person with ADD/ADHD is six times more likely to have another psychiatric or learning disorder than most other people. ADD/ADHD usually overlaps with other disorders.”
    http://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/adult-adhd-attention-deficit-disorder.htm

    “About 50 percent of adults with ADHD also suffer from an anxiety disorder. Adult ADHD symptoms that coexist with an anxiety disorder or other disorders may significantly impair the ability to function.”
    http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/adult-adhd

    I hope you understand that I am not diagnosing Ms. Burbella with ADHD…lol. I was not as fortunate to find a way to manage my ADHD until my late 30s when I was finally able to find a doctor to address my ADHD. I am grateful for him and his understanding of this disorder.

    My children have each been blessed/ cursed by ADHD. Teachers with knowledge of how to teach lifelong skills are vital to a students success. My oldest, is attending medical school currently. We never spoke of her ADHD and how it might cause her to struggle while trying to reach her educational goals.

  • upagainstthewall

    You can go to the college’s website and search her name…that makes more sense than making speculations.

  • upagainstthewall

    Is there a reason you are opposed to people receiving reasonable accomodations? You aren’t going to sign Laura’s upcoming petition are you? Sigh … Maybe you can ask to be the person that helps make the chemical agent that the disabled will be showered with upon arrival.

  • upagainstthewall

    Dear ” Professor”, something tells me that you missed the point that one of the accomodations agreed upon was not followed through.
    As a parent of children with learning disabilities, I am rather suspicious of the things you have posted. If it’s true that you go out of your way for your students with special needs then I admire and applaud you.
    Something in your words has lead me to believe that you are like the burnt out teachers that refused to follow my child’s IEP. They too made claims about “all they were required to do”.
    So much has changed throughout the years…except for the stigma that looms for these students that struggle without support and reasonable accomodations that can help ensure that they can succeed with their educational goals.
    My oldest child was blessed with teachers that were able to recognize the supports needed so she can complete her educational goals. She is now onto her third year of medical school.
    With my youngest who is still attending middle school,things are much different. I was treated horribly when talking my daughters medication to the school. The privacy to count out her pills was not afforded to me. Instead I was forced to count out little round pills,that have a tendency to roll, in the center of the office where I felt humiliated for having a child that takes medications for ADHD. I sent a letter requesting the use of an available office for privacy as I was tired of feeling like a spectacle as other parents stood watching me. People talk. They gossip amongst one another. I decide to be an involved parent via emails. One of my daughters teachers took an opportunity to admonish me for a letter I sent to her. She stayed that it must have been written by someone “criminally insane”. I am tangential, it’s part of ADHD…the same disorder this teacher claimed to be familiar with. The dean complained that many parents cussed him out and used vulgar language, then went on to say that what takes him two minutes with one parent, took 10-20 minutes with me. He didn’t bother to tell the judge that he had restricted my access to my child’s teachers after the email, where I had stated that I was well aware that ADHD doesn’t have to thwart a student from obtaining their goals….I guess to a person biased against the disabled, that statement might appear to be insane…especially if they feel that disabled people are less able because of their inferiority. I have been ostracized and shunned by the staff at my child’s school. The dean who rambled on about how parents would use vulgarity when complaining to him almost forgot to mention that I was not one of the parents to use obscenities with him. But after his long winded speech about dealing with difficult parents the judge failed to acknowledge that and continued to admonish me throughout a years worth of hearings.
    You have stated you’re a teacher. One that goes above and beyond for your students…I truly hope you are one of the rare instructors as students of all ages with disabilities learn to overcome their obstacles and can obtain their goals; given the right supports.
    I’m sorry to sound offensive, I have just endured a living nightmare trying to defend my parental rights,where the state decided to use my ADHD as a threat to my ability to parent my own child. I am disgusted that the school staff who never witnessed me abuse my child came to court to make a mockery of my disabilities which are not a reflection of my character or who I am as a person.
    Having to deal with the bias and discrimination took it’s toll on me. Since my disabilities were disclosed via a .”school counselor” years ago, I have dealt with the ugly face of discrimination on a yearly basis. It is sad to see their refusal to understand that this has effected my youngest child in a negative way. The teachers here are burnt out. I fear there will not be any phenomenal instructors to teach my child the love of learning.

  • upagainstthewall

    You can write up a petition to have the disabled institutionalized. Please don’t forget to insist on forced sterilization To ensure that those individuals don’t continue passing down their inferior genes.
    Or better yet you can shove your candles where the sun don’t shine.
    She had prior agreements ( reasonable accomodations) that she is claiming they failed to follow through with…so if they failed, they should be willing to rectify the situation. From my understanding she would like to retest…with the accomodations in place.
    P

  • Baho Puwetmoh

    I appreciate your point of view, but I think you need to understand the facts of the case before you take the stance of, “Oh, it’s not her fault. She’s a victim. She has ADHD.”

    First, she doesnt have ADHD. She has anxiety. She wanted special testing exemptions because of her anxiety. Like nearly every other University in the world, hers required some specific documentation from a doctor to confirm she was suffering from a qualifying affliction in order to be granted certain exemptions. She did not go to a doctor and obtain the information. This policy was in place for the full 5 years of Burbella’s college career. It wasn’t any sudden surprise. She knew about the policy, but wanted special treatment.

    Ultimately, Burbella failed the class twice because of her own stubbornness. Again, this type of behavior would not translate well into a profession that relates to life-or-death situations. The simple truth is: Burbella is an idiot. She’s responsible for her own failures, and suing the University is a despicable action.

  • upagainstthewall

    I would do my best to try not to fidget,or tap my toes,my fingers, my pencils. My mother enrolled us in tap dance classes. (Tapping my toes, trying to recite dance steps in my mind, quietly….and without even thinking….shuffle, hop, step, ball chain? Or was it shuffle, shuffle,hop, step…or whatever?)Out of frustration teachers were harsh with me at times.

    I heard the following: “you should ashamed of yourself”,”is this all you can do? “,”you’re lazy”, “you’re crazy”. I learned to accept that I was different. I learned to feel embarassed,ashamed, and unworthy.

    Stigma can be emotionally difficult to deal with At any age. Even as I sit here, a mother of four, grandmother of two,dog owner of many throughout my life,with an occasional cat here and there…but they have to exceptional, Persian because of my allergies. ( my cat loves getting a nice warm bath)I like ferrets….
    Stigma is alive and flourishing. I know that we heard rumors of his untimely demise, but let me assure you that those with disabilities hear and see comments such as yours and we can feel his very weight sit upon our chests as heavy burdens filled with the weight of discrimination.

    Stigma isn’t easy to deal with at any age. I am glad that you will never need to understand why laws regarding reasonable accomodations have been set. If I could change my ADHD mind, for your “healthy” mind, I would have to decline as I don’t think I could love myself today without compassion and empathy for others.

    Perhaps someone hasn’t told you, there have been many gifts and talented people throughout our history that have had mental health issues and succeeded.
    I couldn’t resist. I hope that you smiled and took a moment to consider a different point of view.

  • upagainstthewall

    So sad to see the posts from people who don’t understand that students with disabilities have rights when it comes to reasonable accomodations.
    Instead we have ignorant posts that show bias and discrimination. If the instructor failed to provide the reasonable accomodations that was agreed upon…then they should allow her to retest.
    I truly hope she wins her case.

  • MrTommy

    As they walk into the court room (if it gets that far – and it shouldn’t), the judge should just look up, tell the spoiled brat “case closed – you’re FAR too immature to be a nurse”, and move on to the next case. And THIS is the generation we’re leaving our country to?

  • Chuck

    If she can’t handle the stress of a test, she will kill people in her care as a nurse. She will freeze up, or do the wrong thing or give the wrong meds. I wish her well in another occupation. If she does pass a nursing license exam somewhere, I want to know where and I will never enter that state, just in case.
    Her ambulance chaser needs to have his license pulled akso. brings a whole new meaning to shyster.

  • INDERTIN

    Her linked in says she got her BS from the Nursing school…or is she trying to be deceptive.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferburbella

  • The Professor

    I’ve had a lot of students with all sorts of disabilities in my classes throughout the years I’ve been teaching. I get the paper at the beginning of the term telling me what accommodations they are entitled to. I discuss this privately with my student and if need be, with their DSS person. Most of these students know what they can or can’t do and we make accommodations. If they need to talk to me, then we talk. If they need some tutoring I generously offer my time. We figure out alternative ways to take notes or to study. BUT passing the exam is UP TO THEM regardless of where the DSS person puts them to take the test. They require a quiet environment, they get a classroom or assigned space with no distractions. Professors and disabilities work together to give students with disabilities the fair accommodations they deserve. If the student doesn’t think the accommodation is enough, I encourage them to get their parents and their outside doctors, etc. involved in retesting, placements, etc. BUT THAT’S ALL A PROFESSOR IS REQUIRED TO DO. Passing the test and class is up to the student. Period. End of case.

  • Laura Mullen

    Anyone who can’t handle the stress of a nursing class would never be able to handle the stress of being a nurse. The answer isn’t suing the school, its changing her chosen occupation to something like candlemaking, or cloistered nun.

  • Jason David Harris

    The current generation of students can not handle failure because no matter how bad they do they have never experienced it. High school teachers are forced to pass students that should never get a certain credit or even high school diploma. Then they head to college or University where their primary goal is to fail you or make you repeat classes to milk as much money as possible from your family. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

  • This is such of an example of the way things are today. It’s everybody else’s fault that I am an idiot! Look at her Linked In page and you can see this coming…. Such a vapid, worthless person. Go make $10 an hour for the rest of your life. At that you are over paid.

  • Anonymous

    That pathetic creature lacks the essential character to become a nurse; and the deadbeat ambulance chaser who is trying score some greenmail, should be disbarred.

  • Baho Puwetmoh

    She can’t handle taking an exam in a classroom, but she wants to be a nurse? No thanks! I really don’t want my life resting in this girl’s hands. The university did the right thing by failing her. I hope she gets destroyed in court, and publicly embarrassed for this shameful, frivolous lawsuit. “wah, i failed so im going to sue you.” This little girl needs a spanking.