Legal Question in Education Law in Florida

I have a question concerning what laws protect my rights to higher education. I was newly enrolled in a technical school (Tulsa Welding School, Jacksonville, FL) but soon after starting the second phase I found out I was pregnant and would have to take a medical leave of absence until after the baby was born and I was able to return to normal activities (approx. 6 weeks after birth). I wanted to return to school and requested a "medical leave of absence" (which the school does offer but their policy is only 60 days and requires repeating the class level you were in when you had to take the medical leave). I was told that I would not be allowed to take a "medical leave of absence" and would have to be withdrawn from school. Now the school is billing me for classes (when I started my student loans were already approved and the school also received a check for part of the tuition) and requesting that I make a decision between having the student loan pay them or whether I will pay them directly. If I were allowed the medical leave of absence the student loans would still be paying for my tuition and I would still be able to re-enter school. Now I am not sure what my options are and how I can continue seeking a way to have a job (currently and for the past 5 years I have been unable to get hired no matter how many applications to minimum-wage jobs I submit). I feel like the school has not taken into account the unusual circumstance of my particular medical need for leave of absence (the school does not have many female students and I think that I may be the first pregnant student they have had). What are my options?

Asked on 12/28/09, 4:42 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Sarah Grosse Sarah Grosse, Esquire

I hear your sensative situation, and I understand. However, your situation is governed by contract. There is no separate law that I know of which deals with your situation. The contract is god -- read it, know it, memorize it. If you can find any way that the school breached their contract with you, sue. If not, I don't know that you have any recourse.

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Answered on 1/02/10, 5:32 am

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