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A Lehigh University graduate is suing the university over a C+ she got in 2009, saying that one grade ruined her dreams. Megan Thode, now 27, is seeking $1.3 million from the school, The Morning Call reported Tuesday.
She claims the C+ destroyed her dream of becoming a licensed professional counselor and was part of a conspiracy to force her out of the school’s graduate degree program.
Thode, whose father is a Lehigh professor, was reportedly attending the university tuition-free in 2009 when she got the C+ in a fieldwork class that was required by the College of Education.
She was in her final year of a master’s in counseling and human services, according to The Morning Call, and needed a B to move on to the next class.
In her lawsuit, Thode alleges she was given a 0 in classroom participation, thus earning her the C+, because the teacher didn’t like that she advocated for gay and lesbian rights.
However, Lehigh’s attorneys are claiming that isn’t true since the teacher has a family member who is a lesbian, The Morning Call reported.
Thode, who ended up earning a master’s degree in human development and now works as a drug and alcohol counselor, is asking for $1.3 million to make up for the earning power she lost when she failed to become a state-certified counselor, her lawyer Richard Orloski told a judge during the trial that began Monday, according to Morning Call.
“She’s literally lost a career,” Orloski said.
But Neil Hamburg, another Lehigh attorney, doesn’t see it that way.
“She has to get through the program,” he said. “She has to meet the academic standards.”
Hamburg went on to tell Judge Emil Giordano he would be “the first court in the history of jurisprudence” to interfere in a school’s grading practices if he sided with Thode.
“I have nothing against you setting national precedent here,” Orloski told the judge.
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