ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida community college will no longer have ultrasound technician students practice an invasive vaginal procedure on each other, school officials said Tuesday, after two former students sued the college.
Valencia College's president said in a statement that students instead will use simulators when practicing the invasive ultrasound scanning that is used to check on fertility problems.
"Demonstrating our respect for and commitment to students is paramount," Valencia College President Sandy Shugart said.
An independent expert reviewed the program last summer after the students complained about having to undergo the procedure and concluded it was done safely and professionally at the school, Shugart said.
"As part of our commitment to creating and nurturing a caring, inclusive and safe environment that improves student preparedness for professional success, Valencia will continue to review and evaluate all of our educational programs on a frequent basis," he said.
The two former students sued in federal court earlier this month, claiming they were punished when they objected to undergoing the procedure. Instructors told students the procedure was voluntary but those who refused were browbeaten and their academic standing was threatened, the lawsuit said.
"Plaintiffs would disrobe in a restroom, drape themselves in towels, and traverse the sonography classroom in full view of instructors and other students," the lawsuit said.
The two students experienced "discomfort and embarrassment" during the sessions, the lawsuit said. They are seeking an unspecified amount of money in damages.