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Elon law school accused of discrimination

Thursday, September 18
By The Times-News of Burlington

GREENSBORO (MCT) A Greensboro man is suing Elon University's School of Law because he says he was denied admission into the school because of his race.

The university denies the allegation.

In a complaint filed last month in federal court in Durham, Dennis W. DeBerry said he was twice denied admission: in 2005 and again this year. DeBerry said he graduated with honors from N.C. A&T.

After the first rejection, DeBerry said associate dean Alan Woodlief said his application would be "favorably considered" if he completed a paralegal program at GTCC.

DeBerry said he was denied a second time even after he graduated from GTCC with a 3.4 grade point average and a rank in the top 10 percent of his class.

DeBerry claims that his "Afrocentric dress and personal style," which he described as "non-conservative and non-traditional," had an impact on the decision of denying him entrance to a "white conservative school." He said that when he visited the school he saw no black students or faculty members.

DeBerry, who is black, is seeking at least $75,000 in damages

The university denied DeBerry's allegations in a statement Wednesday. Elon also said that the school "has adopted and adheres to a strong and clear policy in regard to non-discrimination." The policy in question calls for equal opportunity in all of its programs and practices, including recruitment and admissions of students.