By: Michael Seinberg
Some people just don’t get it. Take Megan Thode as a prime example. Megan got to pursue a Masters at Lehigh University for free because her father is a professor there. Talk about a good deal. Well, she chose to go for a degree that would allow her to become a state-certified counselor but ran into a snag in 2009 when she got a C+ in a fieldwork course that washed her out of the program. Hey, it happens.
So she switched programs, continued pursuing her degree and now works as a drug and alcohol counselor. And let’s remember her tuition bill was what boys and girls? 0$!!! So, a happy ending? Nope. Megan has filed a $1.3 million suit against Lehigh. She thinks she was unfairly graded by the teacher in an effort to force her out of the program. She added that she feels she was also singled out for being a gay and lesbian rights advocate.
The school claims she received the grade fairly because her teacher gave her a zero for class participation when she complained about having to take an extra internship. One of the lawyers for the school, Michael Sacks, added that she deserved the grade for displaying “unprofessional behavior” in class that included swearing and having an outburst in which she broke down and cried. Not exactly what one expects from a professional counselor.
She feels the dollar figure is fair because it would make up for a grade she feels ruined her future earning potential. Seriously? What counselor makes that kind of money? Dr. Phil maybe? The fact is, the field is pretty crowded, salaries are low and it takes years to get to a point where you can even hang out a shingle and practice by yourself. Add to that the huge student debt that most people carry. Oh yeah, right, Megan had no student debt.
I seriously hope the judge will take one look at this, toss the case, make her pay all costs for the court and Lehigh and smack her lawyers with some sort of professional C- on their report cards.
Life is tough and not everyone makes it from point A to point B. Megan had the advantage of going to school for free and getting a degree that did allow her to get a job. These days, that’s a huge win. The fact that free tuition is not enough for her points to a serious character flaw (greed) that certainly wouldn’t cause me to think highly of her abilities as a counselor. Of course, if the potential patient was another spoiled child of privilege, she might do very well.