Student sues Nevada college over class on sexuality

CARSON CITY – A student has sued Western Nevada College and one of its instructors, alleging her civil rights were violated in a human sexuality class.

Karen Royce, in her lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, claims instructor Tom Kubistant crossed a line with some assignments, including asking students to increase their masturbation routine and to draw their orgasms.

She also took exception to a sexual case study he asked students to do on themselves. The project began with a sex history, including a directive to reveal any instances of abuse. It also addressed sexual values, arousal patterns and atypical issues such as fetishes.

The suit seeks $150,000 in damages, citing extreme emotional distress and humiliation, as well as age and gender as a basis for discrimination, the Nevada Appeal reported.

As someone who endured sexual abuse as a child, Royce “spent years working through the trauma and the abuse, and the thought of having to document the events on paper and turn the paper in was terrifying,” the suit states. “The memories brought up simply by Kubistant’s requirement forced (Royce) to her bed crying for the entire evening.”

The 60-year-old Royce claims she asked the instructor for an alternative assignment but was refused.

Previous complaints filed by her on the matter were dismissed by the college and the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights.

“The investigator found no evidence to support the student’s complaint of sexual harassment,” said a statement from the college. “In fact, the investigator found that the instructor was considered to be an excellent and caring professor, who, with the exception of the student, appeared to be universally admired by other students who had taken the course.”

Mark Ghan, the college’s legal counsel, will have 21 days to file a response to the suit.

“In all likelihood, we’ll file a motion to dismiss,” he said.

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