Judge slaps down grad student who said prof docked her grade for backing gay ‘marriage’
BETHLEHEM, PA, December 9, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dayna Morales, the waitress who was fired after falsely claiming that patrons denied her a tip, is not the only person to falsely claim she suffered discrimination because of virulent homophobia.
Megan Thode sued to have her C+ grade raised to a B – and to be granted $1.3 million in damages – alleging that her professor at Pennsylvania's Lehigh University gave her low marks because she supported same-sex "marriage."
Thode also requested a written apology from her teacher, Amanda Carr.
The 28-year-old dreamed of being a licensed professional counselor, but says a low grade from a "homophobic" professor ruined her dream.
She got a zero in the mandatory classroom participation portion of her class because, according to Carr, she did not participate. Carr – who has since earned her doctorate, become a professor in Lehigh's College of Education, and is now known as Amanda Eckhardt – added that Thode's unusual and inappropriate outbursts in class, including screaming, crying, and cursing did not indicate the proper temperament for a counselor.
Thode eventually graduated with a master's degree and became a drug-and-alcohol counselor. The $1.3 million is her estimated difference in salary between her current career and the one she believes she could have had without the university's alleged out-of-control homophobia.
Because her father, Stephen Thode, is a non-tenured professor of finance, Megan earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees tuition-free. The university arranged work for her, as well.
"Even after you sued Lehigh, you were getting free tuition and working for Lehigh?" the university's lawyer asked the plaintiff in disbelief.
Thode answered in the affirmative.
Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano ruled in February that Thode's low marks were due to her performance, not pernicious heteronormative bias. The trial lasted only four days. He turned down her request for a new trial on November 25 in a terse, one-sentence ruling.
At least one respondent on The Huffington Post believed Thode's story.
But Carolyn Foster Segal, a professor who teaches at nearby Muhlenberg College, wrote in Inside Higher Ed that Thode's behavior in the classroom, “long before her case came to court, smacks of the desperate student’s line of secondary defenses and attacks: announcing a headache and calling for aspirin; crying; swearing, insulting the instructor – doing everything, in effect, except what she needed to do to demonstrate her readiness for her professed career: to contribute in a meaningful way to discussions.”
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Meanwhile, just 50 miles away in Bridgewater, New Jersey, Dayna Morales' morality play was coming unraveled.
Morales claimed a couple she waited on at the Gallop Asian Bistro wrote on their receipt, "I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life."
Her story made national headlines and tore through social media, earning her thousands of dollars in donations from well-wishers.
Among those who saw the story was the couple who ate at the bistro. “I said, 'Oh my God, she's doctored up our check,'” the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said. Their original check showed a generous tip.
Although Morales promised to give all of her estimated $3,000 in donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, the charity says it never received a dime from her.
Morales, whom acquaintances paint as a compulsive liar, has since been fired.