After administrators expelled him for cheating on an exam, a former student is hoping a judge will force GW to allow him back into the most selective medical school in the country.
Sina Chenari alleges that top officials ignored his explanation for why it appeared he had cheated on a test, and discriminated against him because of his emotional and behavioral disorders.
He is asking a federal judge to order the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to readmit him and award him $75,000 to compensate for the money he could have made as a doctor.
The lawsuit centers on a final exam Chenari took in December 2012, according to his complaint filed last week. He claims he had finished the test but still needed to transfer his answers to a bubble sheet, which made it seem like he was working after the exam period had ended.
The exam proctor asked the then-second-year student to stop. But Chenari, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, claims he couldn’t make himself put his pencil down.
After a panel of medical school students and professors found him guilty of academic dishonesty, Chenari appealed the decision to expel him – first to Dean Jeffrey Akman and then to Provost Steven Lerman. Both administrators upheld the decision.
University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said the lawsuit had yet to be served to GW’s attorneys.
Chenari, a Virginia resident, had told administrators and faculty about his ADHD, according to court documents. He had informed several professors that he also suffered from depression and anxiety, which affected his academic performance.
Jason Bach, his attorney, said the University disregarded Chenari’s psychiatric problems.
“Part of what is involved with those disabilities is the ability to control impulses,” Bach said. “We believe that an expert, a doctor, would testify that his reaction was a manifestation of his disability. The University was well aware of that.”
Bach said the University “acted unreasonably and unnecessarily harsh.” He is arguing that GW irreparably damaged Chenari’s academic and professional career.