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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    10.21.16 @ 04:45 AM
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    Default Lehigh University student sues over grade, seeks $1.3 million

    Megan Thode isn't the first Lehigh University student who was unhappy with the grade she received in a course. But she may be the first to sue to get it changed.

    The C+ that Thode was given scuttled her dream of becoming a licensed professional counselor and was part of an effort to force her out of the graduate degree program she was pursuing, said her lawyer, Richard J. Orloski, whose lawsuit seeks $1.3 million in damages.

    Orloski said his client is the victim of breach of contract and sexual discrimination, and a civil trial began Monday before Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano over the claims. They're nonsense, said Neil Hamburg, an attorney for Lehigh University.

    "I think if your honor changed the grade, you'd be the first court in the history of jurisprudence to change an academic grade," Hamburg told Giordano.

    "I've practiced law for longer than I'd like to [admit]," Giordano said, "and I've never seen something like this."

    But after a day of testimony, a settlement could be in the works, after Giordano called the lawyers into his chambers late Monday and they emerged to hold private discussions with their clients. They are slated to return to court Tuesday with the trial, if it continues, expected to stretch through the week.

    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, Hamburg said.

    "She has to get through the program. She has to meet the academic standards," Hamburg said.

    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.

    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.

    Hamburg 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.,937005.story
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    10.21.16 @ 05:54 AM
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    10.21.16 @ 12:22 PM
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    If the University loses, I would close it down before paying it, just out of fucking principal.

    Fuck her, fuck her father for being a sack of shit for encouraging it, and fuck the lawyer for being a slimy personal injury cocksucker.

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  4. #4
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    10.21.16 @ 07:48 AM
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    I had to retake a class once in college because I missed an exam due to circumstances beyond my control......only difference was I was paying my own tuition

    never occurred to me to sue, just took the thing over and got on with it



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