Student gets tuition refund

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The John Tyler student, who accused his instructor of canceling classes to look for a job, got his tuition refunded.

John Tyler says it took the allegation seriously and a resolution was in the works when I sat down to talk with the president of J.T.C.C. in May. The student tells me he got his money back right after my interview.

The tuition refund was $455. 39-year-old Todd Lacy hasn't decided whether he will spend his refund at a different college or take another welding class at John Tyler Community College but with a different instructor.

Lacy says the last instructor's text canceling two weeks of class to job search. The text read: "No welding class this week, my job search requirement will keep me away. Show up to pass."

"I didn't just want to pass. I wanted to learn to weld," said Lacy in May.

And, J.T.C.C.'s subsequent investigation into how he responded after informing the dean left a bad taste in his mouth.

"Is it appropriate for an instructor to cancel class to job search? Well, we will have to look into that matter," said John Tyler President Dr. Marshall Smith in May.

JTCC won't discuss the instructor citing privacy laws. The college says Lacy exhibited disruptive and threatening behaviors when he refused to leave the dean's office and returned locking her door. Lacy says he returned with another student who could confirm his complaint.

"Our adjuncts work on a semester to semester contract. They're expected to do certain things in that contract and if not then we're going to have to deal with it on a case by case basis," Smith said.

Todd Lacy can re-enroll, but his movements on campus will be restricted. The student provided me a letter from J.T.C.C.'s judicial affairs officer.

He's on disciplinary probation for one year and will not be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities. He is barred from all college facilities, including all deans' offices. He must contact the person signing this letter first, if he needs a dean. Before he can enter the bookstore or library, Lacy must contact campus security.

Despite the canceled classes, the college president said 'appropriate instruction was given to teach someone the rudiments of welding, as the course was designed to do' and the 'allegations against the instructor are a personnel matter', not up for discussion.

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