Tuesday, May 06, 2008

More on Dumb Lawsuits

Yesterday, I posted this item on Dumb Lawsuits, in which a professor is planning to sue her former students for a "hostile workplace" because they deigned to demand that she teach the course they were sitting for. Shock me with that deviant behavior.

What I found interesting upon reading the source material was this:
I suppose what troubles me most about this story is that there is a lawyer out there planning to make a case that the students were creating a hostile work environment, not by being sexually harrassing (which I can see as a potential problem), but by being-teenagers and questioning authority.
But there is more.

Last I checked, schools like Dartmouth are, to a certain extent, a business. The customer, that is the paying student, should be able to demand that their professors actually teach the course the student signed up for. I think this professor is more than able, and I would defend her right, to teach her brand of feminist literary theory in a class devoted to that subject. But in this case, her job was to help her students learn the art and skill of writing effectively--that is what English Comp is about.

What galls me even more is that this educated woman is essentially going to black mail her former students. The students and their families cannot afford the distraction and at a minimum would have to argue a motion to dismiss the suit before a court. That argument will be expensive and time consuming and likely appealed since it is apparent that this woman is that vindictive. Of course, the parents and students can countersue and ask for the costs of defending a patently ridiculous lawsuit. But of course, collecting on such a judgment will be difficult. I imagine that someone will defend these students on a pro bono basis and if sued in Maryland Courts, I might be willing to do it.

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