Suit Claims Missouri Students Cut from Program Over Empathy

August 30, 2011

A former student at Webster University is suing the suburban St. Louis university, claiming he was dismissed from a master’s degree program because he supposedly lacked empathy.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the suit claims up to $1 million in losses and seeks at least $2 million in punitive damages. It was filed last week in St. Louis County.

Webster University declined comment.

The former student is 44-year-old David Schwartz of University City. He was studying to be a family counselor.

Schwartz says he thought he was doing well in the program. But in a meeting in March, the director of counseling education told him he needed to improve, citing taped counseling sessions that she said showed a lack of empathy. He was dropped a short time later.

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