Man claims college rejected him for expressing faith in God during admissions interview
Lawsuit filed in federal court.
A Maryland man is suing the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) for a first amendment violation after the school allegedly rejected him for professing his faith in God.
Brandon Jenkins claims that during a Spring 2013 admission's interview, a CCBC staff member asked, "What is the most important thing to you?"
Jenkins answered, "My God."
He was denied admission into their radiation therapy program shortly afterwards. The two-year program has about 24 enrolled students.
When Jenkins asked for more information regarding the rejection, program director Adrienne Doughtery explained that it was due to more qualified applicants, and because of his spiritual answer.
"I understand that religion is a major part of your life and that was evident in your recommendation letters, however, this field is not the place for religion," Dougherty allegedly wrote in an email.
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"We have many patients who come to us for treatment from many different religions and some who believe in nothing. If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process."
Jenkins maintains that stating that God is most important to him was the only time he discussed his faith in the admissions interview.
An attorney for the school stated in their response to the lawsuit that the applicant's response to that interview question "was not a good answer," and said that the school was seeking someone "motivated by an individual passion in the field."
CCBC also stated that Jenkins has a criminal record that includes drug and theft charges-- putting the applicant at a disadvantage in the job market.
Jenkins, represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, filed suit last week in the U.S. District Court of Maryland. He is seeking admittance into the radiation therapy program and unspecified monetary damages.