A teacher at Malcolm X College asked a student to drop out of an algebra class because he is blind, according to a federal lawsuit the student filed Thursday.
Charles Mapp is suing City Colleges of Chicago District No. 508 and the teacher, Richard Williams. Mapp is a blind Chicagoan who first enrolled at City Colleges last fall and took classes in reading skills and English composition, according to the complaint. He said he got an “A” and a “B,” respectively.
Mapp’s complaint also said he had help from a classroom assistant provided by City Colleges’ Disability Access Center.
But Mapp enrolled in January in the Malcolm X class “Beginning Algebra With Geometry” taught by Williams, according to the lawsuit. And despite not having any trouble participating in the class for the first two days, Mapp’s complaint said Williams pulled him aside in the hallway and told him to drop out of the class because Mapp was blind.
Williams could not immediately be reached for comment. A City Colleges spokeswoman declined to comment.
“It is Mapp’s understanding that Williams did not want to have to deal with the logistics of teaching a person who is blind,” Mapp’s attorney, John L. Steele, wrote in the complaint.
Mapp told Williams that the classroom assistant, who was allegedly present for the conversation, could help Mapp succeed in class, according to the lawsuit.
But the student was forced to drop the class and take a different one he “had no interest in” so that he wouldn’t lose his financial aid, his lawyer wrote.