If At First You Don’t Succeed, Sue


Okay, here’s the story; TCC’s parent company decided, a little over a year ago, to close the school.  I don’t understand all the machinations that brought them to that decision and, frankly, it doesn’t matter to me, but it’s an essential piece to this story, so there you go.

When the decision to close was made, a group of people got down to the business of figuring out what had to happen between now and the close date to make sure that all the students had access to all the classes they needed to complete their degrees.  I’m assuming some sort of graph or spreadsheet or cork board with tons of index cards and yards of twine was created that laid out all the courses the students would require, who would teach those courses, and when those courses would be offered so that required sections wouldn’t conflict with one another.

So far, so good, right?

So, I’ve got this student.  We’ll call her Sasha.  Sasha took a course last term that is required for her degree – let’s say it was an algebra course.  She took that course.  She failed that course (and, from what I hear, failed it in pretty spectacular fashion, but that’s really neither here nor there, now, is it?).

Under normal conditions, this wouldn’t be much more than an inconvenience; Sasha could just take the course again in the next term.  Well, the spreadsheet-or-whatever decided that this would be the last algebra course to be offered… ever.  Sasha, seeing her problem (because, you know, she’s smart like that), went to her advisor and told him that she needed to take the class again.  I imagine that the conversation went something like this:

Sasha: I failed algebra, but I need it for my degree.  You need to put another class on the schedule.

Advisor: Um, no, we don’t.  You need to go to another college – there are plenty around – take an algebra class there, and we’ll transfer the credits.

Sasha: No, I’m getting my degree from TCC.  You have an obligation to give me the class.

Advisor: We DID give you the class.  You failed it.  We’ve fulfilled our obligation to you.

Sasha: Well, if I have to go to another school to get the class, you have to pay for it.

Advisor: No, actually, we don’t.

Sasha: I’m suing.

No lie.  The kid is suing the school over a course SHE FAILED.  And it’s not as if the course were a wiggly one in terms of grading, either; in math, you either get the concepts and come up with the correct answers, or you don’t.

Guess how Sasha’s doing in MY class?

I went to my boss a couple of weeks ago, after I heard Sasha tell me the story about how she’s suing the school (she seems kind of proud of it, as if she’s not even a tiny bit embarrassed by  her abysmal performance in the course and won’t be mortified when the judge chews her out for wasting the court’s time because she was too lazy to do her damned homework).  I want to know what kind of exposure *I* have for recording this kid’s failing grade for my class, too.  Do I need a lawyer?  Should I invest in some sort of litigation insurance now?  What, exactly, are we coming to?!



Filed under concerns, dumbassery, failure, General Griping, student chutzpah, That's your EXCUSE?!, Yikes!, You're kidding...right?

3 responses to “If At First You Don’t Succeed, Sue

  1. You can either be nervous about getting a lawyer or you can be sure the judge will laugh her out of court because if B then your A will be covered. I certainly hope that any judge sees her (and her ridiculous attitude) and tosses her out on her…well, A, but I don’t have quite that much faith in any system.

  2. sphyrnatude

    Don’t count on the system. There are just too many horror stories out there about some kid suing a college or university for something truly stupid, and actually forcing a settlement.

    Of course, suing an entity that has already announced that it will cease to exist demonstrates a level of cluefulness that may be an indication of why she failed the math class..

    Hopefully, the math teacher kept good records – this SHOULD be cut and dry. Of course, having the college file a counter-suite for the full costs of the litigation may shut the little bint up….

  3. Harold Bloom at Yale would love this one. Is she a traditional or non-traditional student? I have found that both groups behave at times in irrational ways. I ask because we have clearly entered an age of blame____ for all faults; I heard last night that it is Bush’s fault for the 10 bad things happening in one’s life now.

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