Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:20 AM on 3rd January 2011
Four students who posed for photos with a human placenta have been expelled from a nursing course after posting one of the pictures on Facebook.
One of the students, Doyle Byrnes, has filed a complaint in a Kansas district court seeking to force Johnson County Community College to reinstate her before classes resume on January 19.
Miss Byrnes and several other students were attending a lab course at Olathe Medical Center in November when one of them asked a nursing instructor for permission to photograph the placenta so they could share the experience on the social networking site.
Disciplinary action: Four nursing students at Johnson County Community College in Kansas City have been expelled for posing for photos with a human placenta
The lawsuit against the college and several of its employees said that the instructor replied 'oh you girls', but did not tell them not to do it or that it could result in discipline.
Miss Byrnes then posted the photo on Facebook in which she can be seen smiling broadly, wearing a lab coat and surgical gloves and leaning over the placenta in a tray.
Nothing in the image identifies the woman from whom the placenta originally came.
The photo was posted on her page for three hours until the nursing instructor called her and told her to take it down.
Miss Byrnes claims she asked if she was in trouble and the instructor replied she was not, according to the lawsuit. She removed the photo immediately and has since closed her Facebook account.
But she and three other students who posed with the placenta were expelled the next day.
Lawsuit: Doyle Byrnes has filed a complaint against the decision and claims she was told she would not get into trouble after removing the image from her Facebook account
Jeanne Walsh, director of nursing at the college, criticised Miss Byrnes in a letter that was included as an exhibit with the complaint.
It said: 'Your demeanour and lack of professional behaviour surrounding this event was considered a disruption to the learning environment.'
Clifford Cohen, who represents Byrne, argued his client was deprived of due process and that nothing in the college's code of conduct addressed photographs or social media.
'They're not giggly teenagers,' he said. 'They all impress me as serious, career-minded women who are utterly stunned at what's happened to them.'
Court documents said that Mrs Walsh had said she would support Miss Byrnes is she sought readmission to the nursing course next year.
But Mr Cohen said his client plans to move to another state in a few months to seek work and that her career now hangs in the balance.
'With this kind of black mark on her record, who knows whether she can enroll in another nursing school,' he said.
'Would she be able to get a job?'