This case is one of the most ridiculous in a world full of absurd litigation. A former student of Wayne State University sues the college for not allowing him to finish his student teaching program to become a teacher of physical education.
Here’s another fact: He is 400 pounds and has several health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.
He is still seeking $1 million for weight discrimination.
A Michigan student gym instructor who weighs 400 pounds is suing for $1 million, alleging that he was discriminated against because of his weight. His request to do his virtual student teaching was denied.
David Lopez, 44 claims Wayne State University intentionally prevented him from qualifying for the position of PE teacher because he “doesn’t fit the definition of a PE Teacher’.
Student teaching was the only aspect of the physical education and kinesiology student’s studies that he had not completed.
He says that because of his diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, he should have had the option to complete his student teaching course remotely.
The former student says he asked for reasonable accommodations and claims that the university did not allow him to graduate because of his obesity.
Lopez stated, “They do not think I am a good PE teacher because I’m overweight.” They didn’t want to see me graduate with my certificate because they didn’t think I fit the description of what a gym instructor was because of my height and weight. It’s a fact. There was no reason for it. “I passed everything.”
Wayne State responded to Lopez’s suit by stating that there was no claim of weight discrimination made against an educational institution. The university said that it did not have any control over the district’s requirements for student teachers.
The university referred to Lopez’s suit as “frivolous”, and requested that it be dismissed. The university’s spokesperson did not comment.
No rocket scientist is needed to understand why Lopez’s situation is as absurd as a soup and sandwich. How will he show that the institution did not make “reasonable accommodation” because it didn’t like the idea of him becoming a 400-pound teacher? The university has stated that it cannot control what schools require for a teacher of physical education.
This brings me to my next point.
Why would Lopez believe that a school hires a teacher of physical education who cannot engage in physical activity? It makes no sense to put someone in a position where they are expected to teach young people about health and fitness. This is like asking a cow farmer to deliver the keynote address at a vegan conference.
The issue seems to be a sense that Lopez is entitled. It is a bit of an overreach to suggest that Lopez be accommodated in such a way as to redefine the role of physical training. One might wonder if Lopez intends to sue if he’s rejected when applying for the position at various schools. What more can he get if he sues the university for $1,000,000?