Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Student Gets 'C+' in Chemistry, Sues University for $1.3 million

A spoiled brat, er, a former Lehigh University graduate student is suing the school over a C-plus she got in chemistry back in 2009. Megan Thode says the grade ruined her life. Boo-effing-hoo!
Thode, the daughter of Lehigh finance professor Stephen Thode, was attending the Bethlehem school tuition-free in 2009 when she received the poor mark in her fieldwork class. But instead of working to address her failings, she "lawyered up" and demanded a better grade [...] Thode, 27, of Nazareth, was enrolled in the College of Education in her second and final year of a master's in counseling and human services. She needed a B to take the next course of her field work requirement. [Her lawyer Richard J. Orloski] said she would have received that grade but for the zero in classroom participation that she was awarded by her teacher, Amanda Carr. Orloski charged that Carr and Nicholas Ladany — the then-director of the degree program — conspired to hold Thode back because they were unhappy that she'd complained after she and three other students were forced to find a supplemental internship partway through the semester. Orloski also alleged that Carr was biased against Thode because Thode advocated for gay and lesbian rights — a claim Lehigh's attorneys dismissed as baseless since Carr has a close family member who is a lesbian, and has counseled gay and lesbian people. [Neil Hamburg, an attorney for Lehigh University] and Michael Sacks, another Lehigh lawyer, said that while Thode may have looked like a good student on paper, she was not ready to move on. They said Thode showed unprofessional behavior that included swearing in class and, on one occasion, having an outburst in which she began crying. After getting the C+, Thode unsuccessfully filed internal grievances over the grade, showed up for meetings with her father, and insisted that Carr give her a written apology and a "plan for compensating me financially," Sacks said. With Thode on the witness stand Monday, Sacks underscored that Lehigh paid Thode's freight — not just as a graduate student, but as an undergraduate at York College of Pennsylvania — because her father is a professor. Sacks also said the university set her up with jobs over the course of her attendance. "Even after you sued Lehigh, you were getting free tuition and working for Lehigh?" Sacks asked. "Yes," Thode acknowledged. Thode ended up graduating from Lehigh with a master's degree in human development — which is also offered through the College of Education — and now works as a drug-and-alcohol counselor. The $1.3 million she is seeking represents the difference in her earning power over her career if she was instead a state-certified counselor, according to Orloski. "She's literally lost a career," said Orloski, who told Giordano he has not researched whether other courts have ordered someone's grade increased. "I have nothing against you setting national precedent here," Orloski told the judge.

source: Morning Call
What say you, Kenya?

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