By Rande Iaboni, CNN
(CNN) - A Northampton County, Pennsylvania, judge ruled Thursday against a former Lehigh University graduate student who sued to have her C-plus grade raised and for $1.3 million in damages.
Judge Emil Giordano said there was no breach of contract or discrimination against former student Megan Thode in assigning the grade. Thode, the daughter of Lehigh associate professor Stephen Thode, was attending the university tuition-free in 2009 when she received a C-plus in her master’s fieldwork class.
Lawsuit documents said Thode maintained a B-plus on all written documents, but her instructor, Amanda Carr, gave her a zero in class participation and consequently dropped her grade to a C-plus. The grade prevented her from advancing to the next course required for her degree, although she has since graduated from another program and has a job.
Thode's lawsuit said the professor deprived her of her dream of becoming a licensed professional counselor, and the potential earnings. The lawsuit said Carr retaliated against the student because Thode advocated for same-sex marriage.
The lawsuit also said Nicholas Ladany, the then-director of the degree program, was “personally annoyed and agitated that a female student" would complain about his handling of the grade.
(CNN) - For a second straight day, President Barack Obama touted proposals from his State of the Union address at a campaign-style event outside of Washington, this time visiting a Georgia preschool where youngsters still on winter break showed up to mimic a regular day.
Obama's visit to the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center, in the city of Decatur just outside Atlanta, followed his call in Tuesday night's speech to Congress for investments in high-quality early childhood education programs.
The president spent time in a classroom where he hugged some students - who told him they saw him on television - and praised the teachers he said were giving their students a boost into the educational system.
"This isn't baby-sitting," he said. Children who take prekindergarten classes are more likely to read at their grade level, graduate from high school and hold a job down the road - but fewer than 30% of 4-year-olds are enrolled in prekindergarten programs like those at College Heights, he said.
"Hope is found in what works. This works. We know it works," he said. "If you are looking for a good bang for your educational buck, this is it right here. That's why, even in times of tight budgets, states like Georgia and Oklahoma have worked to make a preschool slot available for nearly every parent who is looking for one for their child."
(CNN) - The town of Waterbury, Connecticut, was buried beneath snow after the massive winter storm that blanketed the Northeast last weekend. By Monday, snow removal was underway, but the town's 32 schools still hadn't been touched.
That is, until hundreds of teens, parents and teachers showed up with shovels. The mayor said he'd pay $8.25 per hour to those who dug out the schools, and 500 came to help, including 300 teens, CNN affiliate WFSB reported - a turnout that surprised everyone.