Yesterday, we brought you the story of Marcus Epstein — the karate-chopping congressional staffer who was heading to UVA Law until yesterday.
Virginia is for… haters? Back in April 2007, the Washington Blade ran a story detailing difficult times for gay students at Washington & Lee School of Law:
Reports have circulated that two gay students at Washington and Lee University’s School of Law in Lexington, Va., were attacked in separate incidents late last month.
Brian Dunkel, 27, was attacked by another law school student on his way home on the morning of March 25, according to Lexington police reports….
Dunkel, who filed the report, was walking to his home on Main Street and was jumped from behind by Todd Harper Lindsey, 26, who put him in a chokehold and wrestled him to the ground, police said. Dunkel was able to get away unharmed.
A separate student claimed that she was subjected to anti-gay slurs at the same party Dunkel attended before he was jumped. The students alleged that Washington & Lee administrators were “unresponsive” to the problems of gay students.
Such problems may persist to the present. Today, Washington & Lee law school dean Rodney A. Smolla sent an email to the entire law school community about complaints of “verbal misconduct,” allegedly directed against minorities, that were raised this past semester.
Details after the jump.
Here is Dean Smolla’s statement to the students:
To Members of the W & L Law School Community:
This semester complaints were made against members of the law school community alleging verbal misconduct that included inappropriate pejorative references to individuals and groups based on race, ethnic origin, and sexual orientation, and alleging inappropriate stereotyping based on those characteristics. The statements were alleged to have occurred in both academic and non-academic settings within the purview of the law school. The matters were investigated pursuant to the University’s confidential processes for the resolution of such matters. Within the parameters of our confidentiality procedures, I write to inform the community that the investigations concluded with the judgment that the complaints were warranted and that serious misconduct had occurred. Remedial actions were taken in all cases. In appropriate cases, substantial disciplinary actions were taken.
I write to reaffirm our Law School community’s stalwart commitment to the values set forth in our University’s official policies regarding the treatment of others based on trust, respect, and civility. We have not countenanced, and in the future will not countenance, conduct by members of the community that offend those values and violate our standards.
We asked Dean Smolla what “substantial disciplinary actions” actually means. In the Todd Harper Lindsey case, we know that he sat for graduation (check out the commencement brochure). Tipsters also report that he will be sitting for the Georgia state bar (good luck with that Character & Fitness review, buddy).
Dean Smolla did not respond to our request for comment.
Here’s a free tip from Above the Law to any tolerance-challenged future lawyers: try very, very hard to refrain from hitting people. You’ll find that karate chops and choke holds work a lot better in the Octagon than the courtroom.
2 gay students attacked at Virginia university [Washington Blade]
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