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Can I sue a University for emotional distress?

Columbus, GA |

I feel like I was treated unfairly in a particular class. My grades were manipulated in the class which caused me to fail. I can prove they were because I calculated them myself. I reported the incident to the teacher's supervisor but, nothing was being done about the situation. I told the chairperson about the situation and she sent me back to the supervisor. There's only one professor that teaches the class and I really don't want to deal with that professor again. I'm in my last semester of college, so I can't take the class somewhere else. I have been extremely depressed about this situation lately. I have contemplated suicide and I can barely sleep, because I fear I'll have to deal with this mess over again.

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Attorney answers 1


These facts will not support a tort action or lawsuit for emotional distress. You may want to seek out some psychological or mental health counseling to help you cope with a difficult situation that is beyond your control.

You may want to utilize your university's formal administrative grievance process.

In fact, students do not have unlimited legal rights to challenge a grade. A grade is inevitably a subjective assessment -- an opinion -- and someone has to make that subjective call. Undermost university rules and regs, it is the professor whose judgment is the one that will be recorded. In many schools, the professor or instructor is insulated from any recourse by the student, or even any corrective action by school administration, based on "academic freedom."

Courts will not ordinarily second-guess a class grade or a claim based on disputed degree credits or progress. Courts traditionally leave hands off of academic disputes. Only where protected status (race, religion, etc.) is at issue will courts scrutinize the judgment of the professor.

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