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Pa. grad student sues, says C-plus cost her $1.3M
ajc.com ^ | 2-13-13

Posted on 02/13/2013 9:33:13 PM PST by rawhide

Graduate student Megan Thode wasn't happy about the C-plus she received for one class,saying the mediocre grade kept her from getting her desired degree and becoming a licensed therapist — and, as a result,cost her $1.3 million in lost earnings.

Now Thode is suing her professor and Lehigh University in Bethlehem,claiming monetary damages and seeking a grade change.

A judge is hearing testimony in the case this week in Northampton County Court. Lehigh and the professor contend her lawsuit is without merit. Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano declined to dismiss the suit Wednesday, ruling that there was enough evidence for the suit to proceed.

Thode took the class in the fall of 2009. Her instructor,Amanda Eckhardt, testified this week that she stood by the grade,saying Thode failed to behave professionally and thus earned zero out of 25 points in class participation, bumping her down a full letter grade.

"I...believed she received the grade she earned," Eckhardt said.

The C-plus prevented Thode, an otherwise A student, from going on to the next class and advancing in her professional therapist studies.

Her attorney, Richard Orloski, argued that Eckhardt targeted Thode because she is an outspoken advocate for gay marriage.

Eckhardt testified that while she believes marriage is between a man and a woman, she would never allow her personal views to influence her treatment of students. She said Thode had outbursts in class, did not participate appropriately, was emotionally unstable and failed to heed a warning letter.

Stephen Thode, the plaintiff's father and a longtime finance professor at Lehigh, testified on his daughter's behalf and said her participation score was highly irregular.

"I have never heard of a case, not just at Lehigh, where a student achieved a zero in class participation where they attended and participated in every class," he said

(Excerpt) Read more at ajc.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: c; cplus; sues

1 posted on 02/13/2013 9:33:22 PM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide

If it’s a case of the teacher with an attitude problem, I hope she wins. If not...oh well.


2 posted on 02/13/2013 9:36:23 PM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: rawhide
Her attorney, Richard Orloski, argued that Eckhardt targeted Thode because she is an outspoken advocate for gay marriage.

Because as we all know, the academic environment is VERY intolerant of liberal beliefs. [eyeroll]

3 posted on 02/13/2013 9:37:31 PM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Norm Lenhart

She paid nothing for this class, it cost her nothing

She is a lesbian leftist with a victim mentality


4 posted on 02/13/2013 9:37:52 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: rawhide
Graduate student Megan Thode wasn't happy about the C-plus she received for one class,saying the mediocre grade kept her from getting her desired degree and becoming a licensed therapist — and, as a result,cost her $1.3 million in lost earnings.

Judge: "If you wanted a better grade, you should have studied harder. Case dismissed."

5 posted on 02/13/2013 9:40:15 PM PST by TheDon (Criminalizing self defense contributed to the Sandy Hook massacre.)
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To: rawhide

Finally. The very first woman to offer a serious challenge Sandra Fluke as Reigning Consummate Asshole Democrat Human Douchebag.


6 posted on 02/13/2013 9:43:06 PM PST by FormerACLUmember
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To: rawhide
Stephen Thode, the plaintiff's father and a longtime finance professor at Lehigh , testified on his daughter's behalf and said her participation score was highly irregular.

Hmmm....

7 posted on 02/13/2013 9:43:06 PM PST by TheDon (Criminalizing self defense contributed to the Sandy Hook massacre.)
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To: TheDon

Leave it daddy to get his pampered daughter a way out.


8 posted on 02/13/2013 9:51:04 PM PST by max americana (Make the world a better place by punching a liberal in the face)
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To: GeronL

Then she needs to pay court costs, do time for a frivilous filing, apologize and slink back under the rock that birthed her.

I have seen several teachers try screwing students based on their politics or personality conflicts which is why I gave her the benefit of the doubt. But apparently should not have.


9 posted on 02/13/2013 9:56:00 PM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: rawhide

“She said Thode had outbursts in class, did not participate appropriately, was emotionally unstable and failed to heed a warning letter.”

Should be easy enough to verify all of this.


10 posted on 02/13/2013 9:57:02 PM PST by DemforBush (You might very well think that. I could not *possibly* comment.)
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To: rawhide
Gee.........

I'm kind of having trouble rooting for either one here....

11 posted on 02/13/2013 10:08:57 PM PST by onona (KCCO, and mind the gap)
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To: onona
I'm kind of having trouble rooting for either one here....

I don't get you. Seems like you have to stand with the professor's right to conscientiously assign a grade.

12 posted on 02/13/2013 10:15:40 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: onona

I figure they both are telling the truth. Hey I know liberal professors screwed me in college just because they didn’t like me even reviewing a book that didn’t agree with their revisionist version of history. I mean a low grade because I dared review a book that said reconstruction of the South after the Civil War was a mistake.

So it does happen. But I didn’t sue them. My recollection is a lot of professors and a lot of students are jerks.


13 posted on 02/13/2013 10:16:05 PM PST by Andrei Bulba (No Obama, no way)
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To: rawhide

Is that Thode or Eckhardt?


14 posted on 02/13/2013 10:24:47 PM PST by EDINVA
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To: TheDon

I work in the mental health field and would seriously question the $1.3M income loss, particularly if she was going to be working at the Master’s level, and particularly considering managed care rates and the move to Obamacare. Story appears a scant spare on details.


15 posted on 02/13/2013 10:27:59 PM PST by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: TheDon

sorry - should be sparse on details.


16 posted on 02/13/2013 10:31:21 PM PST by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: GeronL

The story as written is murky, but how do you know Thode is a lesbian vs. an advocate for gay rights? Sympathy for gay rights is the very IN thing today. One doesn’t have to BE gay to be an advocate. All one has to be is 30ish or under.


17 posted on 02/13/2013 10:35:11 PM PST by EDINVA
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To: DemforBush
What was the class? How did gay marriage come up as a topic? I'd wager that very few of the students would DARE "disagree" with gay marriage, so why was this little dumpling singled out for a C+?

And now the little darling will be completely unhireable, once any potential employer googles her name and finds out that she sues at the drop of a hat.

I can't believe this actually made it to court. Is she suing the professor or the university? If it's the professor, she ain't gonna get jack squat.

And one C+ won't ruin the GPA of a "straight A student".

18 posted on 02/13/2013 10:43:56 PM PST by boop ("You don't look so bad, here's another")
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To: rawhide
She said Thode had outbursts in class, did not participate appropriately, was emotionally unstable and failed to heed a warning letter

Sounds like ideal therapist material.

19 posted on 02/13/2013 10:47:49 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (I think, therefore I am what I yam, and that's all I yam - "Popeye" Descartes)
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To: Grams A

Over a 40 year career, it is an estimated loss of about $32,500/yr, which is not unreasonable. But really, she just needs to take the course over again and make more of an effort. It isn’t like she’s paying for it, which is part of the problem.


20 posted on 02/13/2013 10:50:17 PM PST by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: boop

It isn’t the GPA, it is the fact that she didn’t qualify to advance to the next level of courses. There is nothing to prevent her from retaking the course for a better grade, except her pride.


21 posted on 02/13/2013 10:53:55 PM PST by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: Andrei Bulba

In my first year of college I had a prof who had a reputation as a liberal if not socialist/communist. The coarse was something on modern writings and world affairs, Lippmann, Marx, Hitler etc. In the final exam there was a grade important question about what was propaganda. My written answer was that most of the assignments we were given were propaganda. I was given an ‘A’ for the course and to this day remember the prof as a very fair person.


22 posted on 02/13/2013 10:54:05 PM PST by noinfringers2
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To: EDINVA

That’s what it sounded like, but you are probably right. It seems there was another article about this and I had a similar impression.


23 posted on 02/13/2013 11:17:44 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Kirkwood
Great point. In fact I missed this money quote from the story:

"Thode took the class in the fall of 2009".

So instead of taking her lumps and retaking the course (for FREE!), she's wasted 3 years on this preposterous lawsuit.

She'd be long graduated by now.

24 posted on 02/13/2013 11:24:18 PM PST by boop ("You don't look so bad, here's another")
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To: DemforBush

I was in class with a football player who had alreadly been signed by the Cowboys. He paid absolutely no attention, talked himself and generally acted retarded. Anytime another player would walk by the room the football player would yell “Bro!” The professor would give him an stern look and he’d say “That’s my football bro” and the professor would just stare then go back about his business.

At the end of the semester grades were being handed out and the professor stood in front of the ball player’s desk and said the grades range from 100 , and he looked down at the ball player and said “to 2” as he laid the sheet on his desk. The guy didn’t make it past training camp.


25 posted on 02/13/2013 11:30:50 PM PST by Terry Mross (How long before America is gone?)
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To: Oztrich Boy

.
.

Lezzie Boredom swore and cried during a class discussion -

What ever happened to:

“I am woman - hear me roar”?

.
.


26 posted on 02/14/2013 12:00:21 AM PST by devolve ( -------- -- --It is not where Obama was born that is the problem - it is where he's living now--)
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To: rawhide

This is going to have a nasty effect on fair grading if it succeeds. Imagine a whole new tort industry among trial lawyers.. We’ll soon see TV ads about “grade justice.”


27 posted on 02/14/2013 2:02:30 AM PST by ScottinVA (Gun control: Steady firm grip, target within sights, squeeze the trigger slowly...)
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To: rawhide

This is going to have a nasty effect on fair grading if it succeeds. Imagine a whole new tort industry among trial lawyers.. We’ll soon see TV ads about “grade justice.”


28 posted on 02/14/2013 2:03:37 AM PST by ScottinVA (Gun control: Steady firm grip, target within sights, squeeze the trigger slowly...)
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To: EDINVA

Hi. I don’t believe we’ve met. :)


29 posted on 02/14/2013 2:22:41 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: rawhide
The C-plus prevented Thode, an otherwise A student, from going on to the next class and advancing in her professional therapist studies.

Given the dumbing down of academics, and grade creep, I wonder how many of the otherwise A grades were inflated? Or, were each and every one really earned?

If she knew that class participation was 25% of the grade why did she not try to please her teacher by behaving and participating in an orderly, polite manner?

If she received all A's otherwise, why would one C+ totally destroy her? If I recall a C+ was a passing grade, even for graduate school. It was not a good thing because grad students were expected to maintain a B average. Strange case. Should have been dismissed.

30 posted on 02/14/2013 2:30:04 AM PST by olezip
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To: max americana; TheDon
Leave it daddy to get his pampered daughter a way out.

"Send Lawyers, Guns and Money, Dad; Get me out of this".

31 posted on 02/14/2013 2:47:28 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: onona
I have the same sentiment.

If it's true the student had 100% attendance, then a 0 out of 25% seems extreme.

For most college students (even the smart ones), showing up for every class is a huge achievement.

OTOH, a distruptive student doesn't deserve the full 25% for participation.

32 posted on 02/14/2013 3:15:23 AM PST by LoveUSA (God employs Man's strength; Satan exploits Man's weakness.)
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To: Norm Lenhart
Could be. My sister ran into almost exactly the same problem 15 years ago, before the internet age. She was in a graduate program for hearing disorders and speech pathology, a specialized allied health profession. The Department Chair took an immediate dislike to her, perhaps because she was from the South and has the accent. He told her at one point that she would never succeed in her chosen field because no one with a southern accent could help people with speech disorders, and moreover that her "hair was the wrong color" (whatever that meant---she's a brunette). He then proceeded to make her life miserable, and in the end, arbitrarily tanked her grades so that she could not continue her graduate education and effectively nipped her career in the bud.

She did not tell me or our dad about it until after the fact, and she did not sue the bastard or the school for sexual harassment and discrimination, but quietly got into another field and is doing quite well today. If we had known about it, my dad and me would have paid the jerk a very uncordial visit.

So there may be something to this woman's story. It rings true to me, based on our own experience with these people.

33 posted on 02/14/2013 3:19:46 AM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: rawhide

Yeah, I’d surely love a million bucks for every grade of c I got as a student.

Professors should be forced to give everyone straight a grades as a matter of course.

Right.


34 posted on 02/14/2013 3:35:44 AM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: Kirkwood

If she didn’t have the persistance and dedicaton to overcome that minor obstacle, then maybe it’s best for everyone that she did not advance further in her originally chosen field.


35 posted on 02/14/2013 3:59:18 AM PST by paint_your_wagon
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To: Andrei Bulba
Hey I know liberal professors screwed me in college just because they didn’t like me even reviewing a book that didn’t agree with their revisionist version of history. I mean a low grade because I dared review a book that said reconstruction of the South after the Civil War was a mistake.

Maybe you received a low grade, not because of the subject matter of your review (which I fail to see as being conservative or liberal), but because the review was poorly written.

36 posted on 02/14/2013 4:12:47 AM PST by Labyrinthos
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To: olezip

“Given the dumbing down of academics, and grade creep, I wonder how many of the otherwise A grades were inflated? Or, were each and every one really earned?”

Interesting thought. Perhaps a sleaze lawyer can invent a new industry line of suing schools as part of professional malpractice against incompetent practitioners.


37 posted on 02/14/2013 4:18:25 AM PST by Rebelbase ( .223, .224, whatever it takes....)
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To: rawhide

But she is a protected minority and SHE IS ENTITLED! /s


38 posted on 02/14/2013 4:20:09 AM PST by originalbuckeye (Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy)
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To: rawhide

So she’s finished for life, and doesn’t expect to make a single penny at any sort of career ever, just because of a grade in a single course?

In a saner world, she would just realize that perhaps she wasn’t cut out for this particular field of endeavor, and try to make a go of it in something else. How many stories are there of people who appeared to be a failure earlier in life, who eventually found their niche and achieved happiness and success later on.

But no, in the society we have today, the path to success is to sue someone and live off the proceeds.


39 posted on 02/14/2013 4:34:25 AM PST by rightwingintelligentsia (Truth/Lies; Liberty/Tyranny--WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE??)
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To: max americana

40 posted on 02/14/2013 4:43:48 AM PST by joethedrummer
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To: rawhide

Without details, it could easily be either side in the wrong here. It could easily be both.

But couldn’t she just retake the class at some point?


41 posted on 02/14/2013 5:21:52 AM PST by JamesP81
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To: JamesP81

However, I would like to add that it sounds like a spoiled brat not getting what she wanted rather than a vindictive teacher. JMO.


42 posted on 02/14/2013 5:23:46 AM PST by JamesP81
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To: Norm Lenhart

If there indeed is a warning letter in her file, then the student should not prevail.

Suing for lost wages while still at the student level is hinky, anyway.


43 posted on 02/14/2013 5:37:19 AM PST by MortMan (Disarming the sheep only emboldens the wolves.)
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To: MortMan

It would be like me filing a lawsuit because my boss gave me a bad annual evaluation..

How about little girl, you put on your big girl panties and LEARN something about setbacks in life. Re-take the class and correct what this Prof. didn’t like.

Sheesh, see it every semester. Kids whining that because they didn’t show up, didn’t do the work and didn’t learn the material the Prof. dare grade them accordingly.

Another product of the Everyone’s a winner mindset.


44 posted on 02/14/2013 6:22:10 AM PST by VRWCarea51
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To: Labyrinthos

Maybe, however as a straight A+ student of history with a near perfect score on my verbal SAT, plus the fact the paper was just fine and the professor’s “American History” class was 100% revisionism that FDR was a conservative, Lincoln a racist, etc. - means that you’re mistaken and the professor was a liberal jerk who on a daily basis couldn’t tolerate the though of anything not liberal.

I didn’t think such occurrences were met so skeptically here, professor.


45 posted on 02/14/2013 7:11:51 AM PST by Andrei Bulba (No Obama, no way)
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To: JamesP81

Some schools don’t permit you to retake a class for credit, or average the grades, etc. In any event her claim that one C+ ruined her life seems overstated.

Who knows what happened, the lawsuit is outrageous but please, people don’t remember lots of college students and professors being jerks? The amazing thing is running into a conservative professor.


46 posted on 02/14/2013 7:16:32 AM PST by Andrei Bulba (No Obama, no way)
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To: Andrei Bulba
The amazing thing is running into a conservative professor.

I think that you're right: there are few conservative professors today. I was so lucky to have nothing but conservative professors. But then I went college in the South in the 1960s. Lucky me.

47 posted on 02/14/2013 7:48:17 AM PST by OldPossum
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To: Andrei Bulba
One of the worst young lawyers I ever hired had an Ivy League pedigree and was a legend in her own mind. No matter what she may have thought of herself, her research and writing skills sucked. She was so bad that the members of my law firm voted 9 to 0 to terminate her. When I told her why we decided to let her go, she insisted that she was a great writer because she an English major at Harvard where she earned straight A's and scored in the top 1% on the SAT Verbal Exam and the LSAT. She then accused us of firing her because she was a woman and because her politics were left of center. (She apparently never noticed that five of the nine members of my firm at the time and more than half of the associates were female and about 35% of the lawyers and support staff were registered RATs.) In response, I said, “No your research and writing really does suck and you're also an @$$-hole.”
48 posted on 02/14/2013 8:02:36 AM PST by Labyrinthos
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