Student mental health litigation at Yale

Emma Camp

Now, Mántica’s experience is included in a lawsuitagainst Yale, alleging that the school’s policies violate several federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Yale’s policies and practices, as described in the lawsuit, reveal both a stunning callousness on the part of Yale administrators and how ever-expanding university bureaucracies don’t improve university life but instead develop methods for seamlessly disposing of problem students.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by two current Yale students and a mental health nonprofit, alleges that the university’s policies violate a number of federal laws, including the ADA and the Affordable Care Act. It explains that Yale pushes students with mental health crises to withdraw voluntarily, often while covertly threatening that an involuntary withdrawal would “not look good” on an application for readmission. Upon withdrawal, students are given only 48 hours to vacate campus and are often escorted by police to their dorm rooms.

According to the lawsuit, withdrawn students must stay away from campus for at least one full term. They cannot return earlier, even if students’ medical providers believe they are ready to return to academic life. Making matters worse, students at Yale must graduate in eight to nine semesters, and, according to the lawsuit, “The semester in which they withdraw is counted against the eight or nine semesters in which they must complete their degree.”