“The only factor or performance metric discussed to make decisions regarding John Doe’s CTEMS application was his HIV status, and its residual effects,” Baker wrote, signing the affidavit as Baker and his pen name, Adisa Iwa.
Baker said in his affidavit and told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday there have been other discriminatory incidents by some in the department. For example, he said in 2017 an administrator denied accommodations to a visually-impaired student because she didn’t believe him.
The lawsuit said the college’s alleged actions violated federal laws that prohibit discrimination against someone because of a physical or mental impairment. Morehouse is a private college, but receives federal funding.
The student used the pseudonym “John Doe” in the complaint. His attorney, Damon M. Scott, wrote in a court filing seeking his client’s anonymity in court proceedings that “privacy interests outweigh public interests.”
The student graduated in May 2020, but Scott told the AJC it would be a mischaracterization to say the student completed his studies there because he was denied entry into the program he aspired to complete.
“The Plaintiff has suffered emotional distress, increased anxiety and mental anguish, as a result of being discriminated against because of his HIV status by an alma mater that was once beloved,” Scott wrote in the complaint. “The Plaintiff revealed his innermost secret to the Defendant and the Defendant unlawfully used it against him.”