Mike Adams

Mr. Ford to rewrite his case notes. This is something he had never been required to do before. And she required him to do so four times. As clinical supervisor, she would review the case notes of students. She would note minor errors on “post-it” notes, but she would record more substantial errors on formal sheets that featured a check list of possible infractions.

During this month, Mr. Ford received fifteen of these formal infraction sheets for his case notes. However, none of the boxes on the checklist were marked. Instead, Professor Hecker had written the infraction in the margin. When Mr. Ford compared his evaluated case notes with other students, he discovered that he had made the same errors as his fellow students. But Hecker gave the other students the informal “post-it” note reminders while she issued him the formal infraction sheets. Mr. Ford was the only student to whom Hecker gave the formal infraction sheets.

On October 26, 2004, Professor Hecker encountered Mr. Ford in the hallway and assigned him several new articles from The Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy and instructed him to read them in preparation for class the following day. The articles pertained to reparative therapy. Mr. Ford informed Hecker that he had already read them.

In class on October 27, 2004, Defendant Hecker tried to discuss the articles she had assigned from The Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy the day before. Since very few students had read them, the discussion faltered. So instead, Defendant Hecker started discussing how the LDS Church had refused to accept blacks as members until relatively recently. At one point, she asked the class: “How could a church not allow blacks to become members until the 1970s?”

After these experiences, Mr. Ford and Dr. Byrd discussed taking legal action against Purdue. But again, Mr. Ford feared that doing so would jeopardize his graduation and instead opted to document the abuses for future reference.

During the fall of 2004 and the spring of 2005, Mr. Ford counseled with a client who was going through marital difficulties. At the time, she was uncertain whether she should remain with her husband or pursue a divorce. Mr. Ford attempted to help her think through the consequences of either choice.

When Professor Hecker reviewed Mr. Ford’s case notes, she told Professor Wetchler she was concerned about Mr. Ford’s approach. Shortly thereafter, Wetchler ordered Mr. Ford to counsel this client to pursue divorce, to advise the client to seek legal counsel, and to ensure that her bank account was protected.

After Mr. Ford complied with Professor Wetchler’s orders and the client never returned for further counseling. During this controversy, Professor Hecker stated that if Mr. Ford pursued any other course of counseling with this client, he would be forcing his religious beliefs on the client.

In October of 2004, Mr. Ford began assembling the committee to review his master’s thesis. By this time, the evidence of discrimination and retaliation against Mr. Ford was so great that he and Dr. Byrd feared that the faculty would not grade his thesis fairly.

To prevent any such problems, Dr. Byrd worked with Mr. Ford to get Dr. Philip Sutton, one of Dr. Byrd’s colleagues and a Purdue University alumnus, appointed to Mr. Ford’s committee. Dr. Sutton agreed to serve in this capacity to insure that Mr. Ford received a fair evaluation.

On the date that Mr. Ford put forth his formal proposal of his thesis committee,Mr. Ford saw Professors Wetchler and Trepper discussing Dr. Sutton’s presence on the committee. In particular, they were discussing Dr. Sutton’s activities with the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and whether he had sufficient expertise to serve on this committee. But when they saw Mr. Ford walking down the hall, Wetchler closed the door to Trepper’s office.

It seems the fate of our Mormon friend would be decided in secret. Or so they thought.

To be continued…

Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.

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