But, I reserve judgement because the same thing happened to me in high school.
Thode took the class in the fall of 2009. Her instructor, Amanda Eckhardt, testified this week that she stood by the grade, saying Thode failed to behave professionally and thus earned zero out of 25 points in class participation, bumping her down a full letter grade.California high school students are required to take a one-semester class in US government and civics. My HS teacher was so right wing, he made stuff up and proclaimed them as facts. I disagreed with him in class one day when he said that Swedish socialism was so bad, that young women were constantly begging him and his wife to please take them to the US as a nanny so they wouldn't have to live under socialism.
"I ... believed she received the grade she earned," Eckhardt said.
The C-plus prevented Thode, an otherwise A student, from going on to the next class and advancing in her professional therapist studies, the newspaper reported. She wound up getting a master's degree in human development instead.
Her attorney, Richard Orloski, argued that Eckhardt targeted Thode because she is an outspoken advocate for gay marriage.
Eckhardt testified that while she believes marriage is between a man and a woman, she would never allow her personal views to influence her treatment of students. She said Thode had outbursts in class, did not participate appropriately, was emotionally unstable and failed to heed a warning letter.
I told him that I had just returned from Sweden and didn't see anything like that. People seemed pretty happy with their lives. In fact, I stayed with several families with many members who had worked or studied abroad, and they all said that they preferred their social safety net to the US environment. (Some did express a preference for California weather*.)
When I received a B in that class, when I had earned 100% on all exams and quizzes, I asked the teacher why. He replied that 20% of the class grade was participation and I had earned a 0.
I asked how that can be, when I participated.
He said that I did not participate correctly and grading is at his discretion.
That's how bullies react to evidence that contradict their views. They try to shut down voices that bring up contradictory evidence. When that fails, they abuse their power.
In high school, I could use the B as an extra chance to stand out among college applicants. Do you remember the question in the application that asks if there is anything in your academic record that you wish to explain? Anyway, it worked. That low grade helped me get into every college where I applied.
I don't know what happened between Thode and Eckhardt. But Thode's story is so similar to mine, that I give her the benefit of the doubt.
* My in-laws met and married in Sweden. They immigrated for the weather and for a chance to live in a less homogeneous society. But, they do fondly remember the way Swedes look out for each other.