Valencia Community College has banned the use of vaginal probes in its sonography program, the college’s president, Sandy Shugart, told the Orlando Sentinel Tuesday. The decision came after two students filed a lawsuit against the college, alleging that they underwent forced vaginal probing by other students as part of their training in the program. The students claimed that the program’s directors said the students would be retaliated against if they did not comply with the probing.
Shugart told the Sentinel in an emailed statement that the controversy surrounding the lawsuit was responsible for the end of the training and students would instead use simulators and time spent in clinical settings with professionals to learn techniques. Testicular ultrasound exams were also banned.
“Weighed down by the distraction of the current controversy, the value of voluntary peer-to-peer participation in transvaginal ultrasound scanning no longer rises above the benefit of using simulation technology, especially in light of recent advances in that technology,” Shugart said.
A third-party investigation into Valencia’s sonography program by the law firm Allen Norton & Blue found that “the learning environment in the program did not amount to an unlawfully discriminatory or otherwise abusive environment,” according to a letter sent by the firm to the Sentinel. All four faculty members in the investigation, three of whom were named in the lawsuit, remain employed at Valencia.
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