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Valencia College Students Sue to Stop Invasive Vaginal Ultrasound Practice

— June 1, 2015



Florida’s Valencia College has changed it curriculum after students sue to stop invasive vaginal ultrasound practice. The former students were part of the community college’s ultrasound technician program and were understandably unhappy at the requirement that they practice the invasive vaginal technique, used to investigate fertility, on each other.

According to the suit, “Plaintiffs would disrobe in a restroom, drape themselves in towels, and traverse the sonography classroom in full view of instructors and other students.” The suit further explained that the two plaintiffs felt “discomfort and embarrassment” in these classes. Despite the fact that the procedure was voluntary, according to instructors, those same instructors bullied those students who refused to participate going so far as to threaten the students’ academic standing.

The college’s President, Sandy Shugart, said that, “Demonstrating our respect for and commitment to students is paramount.” She went on to say that after the students complained, the school had the program reviewed by an independent expert. The expert’s conclusion was that the procedure was done safely and professionally.

Shugart added, “As part of our commitment to creating and nurturing a caring, inclusive and safe environment that improves student preparedness for professional success, Valencia will continue to review and evaluate all of our educational programs on a frequent basis.” The school will use simulators for that particular procedure going forward.

What the *bleep*?! I understand that certain programs require students to practice on each other. I was once told by my dentist that, as students, they practiced giving Novocain® shots on each other. OK… Unpleasant, yes; embarrassing and degrading? Nope.

I don’t have a vagina but for sake of argument, let’s just say I do. I did go to college (for several years) and I remember some of my fellow students were great. Some, I wouldn’t give the time of day. Neither of these two groups and the vast spectrum in between have any business up in my hypothetical vagina. I didn’t want to be known that well by the ones I liked and I sure didn’t want to be known that well by the ones I disliked. I’m not bashful, but my hypothetical vagina and I value a certain level of privacy, one that wasn’t available at Valencia College.

All this time, there were simulators that could have been used instead. Not to mention the involuntary nature of the “voluntary” procedure. Look at it this way: the college wants a stranger to paw my hypothetical vagina. I say, “No!” and the college threatens my academic standing.

Now, switch it to a supervisor who wants to paw my hypothetical vagina and when I decline said opportunity, he threatens my job. If this had been the case, the pitchforks would’ve been sharpened and the torches lit! But Shugart and her “expert” think that it’s OK in the classroom.

Perhaps Shugart should volunteer to be the “practice dummy” during that particular procedure. Maybe then, I could believe her “respect for and commitment to students.” However, that’s not likely to happen and only a federal lawsuit made Shugart see the light. Shame on her! My hypothetical vagina and I are appalled!


School: No More Vaginal Procedures for Ultrasound Training

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