Students Sue Valencia College For Coerced Vaginal Exams
Two female students filed a lawsuit against Valencia College, located in Orlando, FL for forcing them to undergo a transvaginal probe as a part of their medical training. The two women were a part of a sonography program and was forced to perform transvaginal ultrasounds on one another. Besides the college, the other defendants listed on the case are program instructors Maureen Bugnacki, Linda Shaheen and Barbara Ball.
In the suit, another student under the alias of “The TransVag Queen” told the plaintiffs the the faculty in the sonography program believes students should have the procedure done to them in order to become better sonography technicians. Valencia College positions the transvaginal probes as voluntary, however, in their policy it is the opposite.
For example, the plaintiffs in the case had to undress in the academic building bathroom and walk back to their classroom in towels. Then in front of their sonography classroom (occupied with their peers and instructors), another student would insert the probe into the plaintiff’s vaginas. Sometimes the student would have to sexually stimulate the plaintiffs in order to insert the probe into their vaginas.
The lawsuit also claims if the plaintiffs did not participate in the probe lesson, they were threatened with retaliation. Cosmopolitan reports, “Defendant Bugnacki repeatedly threatened to ‘blacklist’ [the students] at Central Florida hospitals if [they] did not submit to these unconstitutional and unwarranted probes of their reproductive organs.” Another instructor, Barbara Ball allegedly told another student during the probing session that she was “sexy” and should be an ‘escort girl’.
A spokesperson for Valencia College, released a statement: “The use of volunteers — including fellow students — for medical sonography training is a nationally accepted practice. Valencia College’s sonography program has upheld the highest standards with respect to ultrasound scanning for educational purposes, including voluntary participation and professional supervision by faculty in a controlled laboratory setting. Nonetheless, we continue to review this practice and others to ensure that they are effective and appropriate for the learning environment.”