I enrolled in a massage therapy program at Everest College, Burr Ridge, IL on November 30, 2010. My first day of class was on December 20, 2010.
On the evening of January 5, 2011, I was approached by another student, Tom Maffeo, in the school parking lot. The student proceeded to ask me for my phone number (he said because he was having problems with his wife and needed someone to talk to and that he would make me dinner if I came to his house). I declined his advances and told him I am here for an education, nothing more. The encounter left me very uncomfortable and fearful.
Before class on January 6, 2011, per school policy, I advised the director of the massage therapy, Robin Helton, of the situation and that I was fearful of this student. She told me she cant kick him out, that I misunderstood his intention, that I was and adult and to deal with it.
I asked that I not be required to work with him during or after class. I was told that I am required to work with everyone in the class.
At that point, I wanted to withdraw from the school, but according to the Enrollment Agreement, I only had the right to cancel or obtain a refund when a notice of cancellation is given before midnight of the fifth business day after the date of enrollment, but prior to the first day of class.
Therefore, I tried to stick it out hoping this student would leave me alone and stop his harassment. He did not.
I was approached on numerous other occasions, by the same student during class, during lab and in the parking lot despite trying to avoid confrontation.
To make matters worse, I was forced, by the faculty to work with this student (including during lab when I was required to allow this student to experiment with his massage technique while I lay unclothed on the massage table) in spite of my well known problem with this student.
This student was not performing the massage techniques as taught, but was caressing me. I told the instructor and she ignored me. I was repeatedly violated and in fear of my safety. I went home crying every time I had to work with this student.
On Friday, March 11, 2011, I told him in no uncertain terms to leave me alone, leave his problems with his wife at home and to stop harassing me and the other students.
On Monday, March 14, 2011, I was approached by the director of the massage therapy program, Robin Helton, taken to her office, and told that there was a complaint and investigation against me for bullying.
The next morning, I went to the police and was told that I was not to go back to the school.
On March 15, 2011, I went to my doctor. My blood pressure was 140/100. My doctor gave me a letter to take to the school stating that I am in his care and not to go back to class until he releases me.
The same day, I brought the letter to the registrar, Cori Adkins, and was told that the president has to OK it. I told her that the president cannot countermand a medical doctor's order. She restated her position. I walked out.
On March 18, 2011, my husband took off work to accompany me to meet with the president of the school, Terri Hines. I told her that I was going to record the conversation. She said, if I do, the meeting is over.
I told her I wanted to file a complaint against the student and the faculty for being continually humiliated and sadistically exploited. She refused and retorted by stating that Tom has a broken back and has no feeling in his hands, so he does not even know what he is feeling, therefore could not have done what I was implying and asked if I needed to be reminded that there is an investigation against me.
I asked her how he can even be in the massage program with a problem like that and that it is a requirement for licensure that you do not have any impairment that might cause you to injure another person. I was told it was not my business. She changed the subject by again stating that there are complaints against me for bullying.
I asked for a refund, she refused and yet again stated that there was a pending investigation on me for bullying.
Consequently, due to the school's failure to provide a safe learning environment, I was forced to withdraw and have outstanding loans both private and federal in the amount of approximately $9000.00 and mounting due to late fees.
Further, I am willing to discuss my situation with the news media should a press release or media piece be developed on this company, topic, or industry.