POSTED: 9:24 am CST January 6, 2011
UPDATED: 8:51 am CST January 7, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A federal judge has ordered Johnson County Community College in Overland Park to reinstate a nursing student who was booted out after posting photos of herself with a human placenta online.
Doyle Byrnes was one of four students kicked out of the school over the placenta photos. The college had said the students could seek readmission in the fall.
Byrnes went to court seeking reinstatement before classes resume Jan. 19.
After hearing from both sides Thursday, U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren ruled that Byrnes must be readmitted.
“We are disappointed with the court’s decision today. Of course we’ll abide by the judge’s decision and readmit the student to the nursing program,” said JCCC President Terry Calaway. “The JCCC nursing program is widely known and respected for the quality of its instruction and its graduates. Sensitivity to patients and confidentiality of patient care is at the heart of what we teach. We took what we believed to be appropriate action, but the court saw the situation differently, so the student will be readmitted to the program.”
Byrnes said she would be more careful with social networking in the future.
“I erased my Facebook, so I can’t put anything on Facebook any more,” she said. “I might get (another) one, but from now on, I will only have friends who are my family members because they appreciate the things I appreciate.”
The college says it will also readmit the other three students.
College officials had argued the students’ actions were disruptive. The judge said the school’s response was more disruptive.