Age Discrmination Against Child Prodigy?

Here’s an interesting story about an age discrimination complaint filed by a 13-year-old college student against the University of Connecticut.

Colin [Carlson] is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, seeking a bachelor’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and another in environmental studies. But he’s been knocked off course by the university’s rejection of his request to take a class that includes summer field work in South Africa.

He and his mother say university officials told them he is too young for the overseas course. So he’s filed an age discrimination claim with the university and U.S. Department of Education, which is investigating.

“I’m losing time in my four-year plan for college,” he said. “They’re upsetting the framework of one of my majors.”

Michael Kirk, a spokesman for UConn, would not comment on Colin’s case. But he said that generally, safety is the university’s first concern when travel is involved.

The university would not let Colin enroll, even after his mother, Jessica Offir, offered to release UConn from liability and accompany her son as a chaperone at her own expense, she and Colin said. . . .

To be eligible to study abroad, students may not be on university probation or academic probation and must have earned a grade point average of at least a “C” — no problem for Colin, who’s an honor student with a near-perfect 3.9 GPA.

The study abroad office and faculty member leading the trip ultimately decide who may go, Kirk said. . . .

Although Colin was barred from the South African field trip course, he will participate in a National Science Foundation-funded research group that also will take him to South Africa to study plant ecology.Colin and his mother say they would be satisfied if the university ensures that the NSF-funded research trip and a seminar fulfill the academic requirements of the course he originally sought. They also have asked that $5,000 in stipend and expenses be reimbursed.

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