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Rose-Hulman Student Sues Professors For Harassment

A senior at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is suing the university for discrimination, harassment and failure to accommodate his disability.

Justin Castelino suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, and Auditory Processing Disorder. The latter affects a person's ability to understand spoken language. For Castelino, this makes taking tests or writing notes difficult.

The suit claims professors failed to make testing accommodations available to Castelino, including extra time and a quiet test room, as spelled out in Rose-Hulman's "Guideline for Students with Special Needs."

Castelino is suing 12 Rose-Hulman professors and staff members for discrimination and retaliation on the basis of a disability, defamation, false advertising, negligence, harassment, failure to provide a duty of care, and breaching his rights.

"We have a very different summation of facts and events that we look forward to presenting at the appropriate time."

In one instance, Castelino claims a professor told him to sleep in a classroom overnight in order to get the extra time needed for an 8 a.m. exam.

In a separate incident, Castelino claims a professor entered his quiet testing room and turned on a hissing noise throughout his exam time, making it hard for him to focus.

The suit also claims professors publicly expressed wanting to "study" how Castelino's mind works.

The complaint says Castelino officially complained about the behavior to the director of disability services and still did not receive accommodation.

Rose-Hulman officials declined to comment, but said in a statement, "We have a very different summation of facts and events that we look forward to presenting at the appropriate time. Rose-Hulman is known for being a caring and close community that operates with integrity and takes enormous pride in helping each student experience personal growth and success."

Castelino is demanding $530,000 in compensation for public humiliation, defamation, harassment, the cost of tuition, and the three years in which his "degree and career have been delayed by Rose-Hulman."

The suit claims Castelino was unable to graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering when he intended, in May 2016. He demands the median income of a civil engineer, which is $70,000 a year, to be paid to him each year "until such time as he is actually able to find employment in his chosen field."

Castelino also demands from Rose-Hulman "a lump sum reducing to present value the difference between a projected life-time median income for a civil engineering graduate of [Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology] and the projected life-time median income which statistics show may be expected by a civil engineering graduate of the school he can actually attend."

Castelino is also asking for compensation for psychiatric and psychological counseling, private tutors, books, meal plans, and mandatory health insurance.

Read the full complaint below: 

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