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Former student sues Community College of Allegheny County, says she was forced out of school over Facebook posting

The Associated Press
A woman claims she was wrongly forced out of a western Pennsylvania community college's radiology program over a Facebook posting by someone apparently passing along gossip concerning comments she had made to her sister about the odd behavior of a hospital technician she was shadowing.

Cara Whitney, of South Versailles, said in her federal lawsuit filed in Pittsburgh against the Community College of Allegheny County that she had called her older sister, who also works in health care, for advice after seeing a radiologist at UPMC McKeesport hospital act strangely while on duty in January. The sister is not identified in the lawsuit.

Whitney got in trouble with the school because, unbeknownst to Whitney and without her consent, her sister "told a co-worker about the call ... then the co-worker told the co-worker's sister, who then mentioned the incident to others, and one of the recipients of the information posted it on Facebook."

In her lawsuit, Whitney said she saw the radiologist, identified only as "Joe," sleeping while the radiology waiting room was full of patients and "picking up a computer mouse and mistaking the mouse for a telephone." He also asked Whitney "out of nowhere" whether "she got the pizza" which Whitney said she didn't understand.

Whitney contends she called her sister for advice only because she realized the radiologist could suffer "serious consequences" if she complained either to the hospital or the community college. Whitney said her sister told her to contact his hospital supervisor, which she did, and she said she was told by the supervisor that she did nothing wrong in seeking her sister's advice first, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit doesn't say specifically when the Facebook item was posted, who posted it, or what it said, only that it happened sometime after Whitney encountered the radiologist on Jan. 24. By Feb. 4, school officials were questioning her about the post, the lawsuit said.
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