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Student Sues School Over C+ in Chemistry

Posted by on August 5, 2012 in In The News - Comments Off on Student Sues School Over C+ in Chemistry

A high school student files suit in U.S. District Court after receiving a C+ in chemistry.

A C+ in high school chemistry could lead to tears, or a tutor, or a change in career paths, but in one case, it has led to a lawsuit.  A former Albany, California, high school student and his mother are suing the school district over a grade of C+ he received in 2011.  They claim that the grade was not consistent with his achievements, but rather it was an intentional effort by the teacher, Peggy Carlock, to ruin the student’s future.  The student, Bowen Bethards, and his mother, Laureen, are also suing the principal and the School Superintendent.  According to the complaint, when Bowen was a sophomore, he had an A+ average through much of the year.  He missed an in-class lab, with permission, to attend his younger sister’s adoption hearing.  Afterwards, the teacher refused to allow him to make up the lab and threatened to fail him.  Laureen reached out to the Principal and School Superintendent, and was assured that the situation would be resolved.  On the day of the final exam, Bowen reported being harassed and intimidated for complaining to the administration.  That summer, Bowen and his mom were notified that he failed the final exam and received a C+ as a final grade.  They requested access to the corrected final exam but they were denied.  The school now claims that his final exam “can’t be located.”  After the Board of Education refused to intervene, Lareen filed a government claim against the school district for $10,000 in damages, which include, “severe emotional distress, physical pain and suffering, severe and continuing damage to claimant’s academic reputation and standing, viability as a college applicant, damage to his ability to obtain scholarships for college, and damage to his future earning capacity.”  The school district has agreed to raise his grade to a B, but that is unacceptable, according to the Bowen’s attorney, Daniel Horowitz.  Horowitz adds, “He’s an A student, and his dream for the last three years is to go to UCLA, and this teacher doesn’t have the right to take it away from him.”  Bowen has filed a suit in the U.S. District Court claiming a violation of his civil rights.  Bowen has since transferred to Berkeley High School.  The family hopes to resolve this matter before he has to apply to college this fall.

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