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?!