1 June 2015
Daniel Woodruff, on the 10 o’clock news
(KUTV) BYU’s law school is under fire.
The group “Free BYU” has filed a complaint against the school, claiming how it handles ex-LDS students is against the rules.
The group feels BYU should not expel LDS students who decide to leave the church. “Free BYU” has already complained to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities which accredits the entire university.
Now, it’s targeting the J. Reuben Clark Law School and preparing to file a formal grievance with the American Bar Association, the body that accredits the law school.
“They have to follow the rules that they’re given just like the students at BYU are expected to follow the Honor Code,” said Lovina Roundy, one of the authors of the complaint and a member of Free BYU.
Eric Roundy, Lovina’s husband, is mentioned in the complaint. During his military service, he decided to leave the LDS faith. After finishing some independent study and returning to BYU, he wanted his diploma. But he first needed an endorsement from his LDS bishop. Because he wasn’t going to church, that wasn’t easy.
Ultimately, Eric agreed to attend church until his diploma arrived. But he told 2News he feels that was only because his bishop was understanding.
“Depending on which bishop you end up having to speak to, the rules can be interpreted in very different ways,” Eric said.
But the Roundys say it shouldn’t be this way. In the complaint, they cite a ABA rule staying, “A law school shall not use admission policies or take other action to preclude admission of applicants or retention of students on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.”
“They themselves are defining former Mormons as a religious group and denying their admission and denying their retention,” said Lovina Roundy.
But as a private institution, does BYU not have the right to decide how to treat ex-LDS students?
“BYU law is a private school and it’s a uniquely Mormon school and I think it should stay that way,” Lovina said. “However, a small fraction of students get dramatically hurt by this policy and my husband was one of those students.”
BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins told 2News, “The law school is fully accredited but we are reviewing the complaint.”
In fact, the law school has been accredited since 1974.
The complaint itself is with the law school. Free BYU is awaiting a response from the school within 30 days and plans to file it with the American Bar Association if nothing changes.
To read the complaint, click here.