13-year-old says UConn shows age bias

March 18, 2010 at 4:28 PM

STORRS, Conn., March 18 (UPI) -- A 13-year-old University of Connecticut student says he was a victim of age discrimination when he was rejected from an African field study course.

Colin Carlson said the possibility of doing field work in South Africa was one reason he chose the university, The Hartford Courant reported. He also does not believe he is any more at risk than any other student even if he is several years younger.

"If you don't feel comfortable taking a 13-year-old just because you don't, then it's the same thing as if you don't feel comfortable having a black student on your trip or having a woman on your trip," he said.

His mother, Jessica Offir, told the university she was willing to accompany him at her own expense and to release the university from liability. But Carlson was still turned down.

Carlson was accepted to another field study course in South Africa that involves plants. He is more interested in animals.

The prodigy began taking courses at the university when he was 9 and entered as a full-time student last year. He plans to earn a doctorate, a goal he could reach while his coevals are still in college, and then go on to law school.

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