Brandon Jenkins says one of the interview questions for the Community College of Baltimore's radiation therapy program was "What is the most important thing to you?" He answered, "My God."
According to Jenkins, it was the only time he brought up his religious beliefs during the application process. He was rejected shortly afterward.
When he asked for an explanation, he got an email from program director Adrienne Dougherty telling him that other candidates for one of two dozen spots in the program had higher GPAs. She also added this note on religion:
"I understand that religion is a major part of your life and that was evident in your recommendation letters, however, this field is not the place for religion. We have many patients who come to us for treatment from many different religions and some who believe in nothing. If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process."
An attorney for the school says the point of the questions was to ascertain applicants' passion for the field, and that Jenkins' indication that he was pursuing it "on behalf of God or others" wasn't what the program was looking for.
He also pointed out that Jenkins has a criminal record that includes drug and theft charges, which would make it hard for him to get a job in Maryland. In the interview, Jenkins said he wanted to stay in the state.
Jenkins' lawsuit, filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, demands an injunction admitting him to the program, as well as unspecified damages.