Student grading passes muster with court

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

In a case that proves anyone with a little bit of money can file a lawsuit, Kristja Falvo of Oklahoma managed to take her case all the way to the Supreme Court.

She objected to her son's teacher's practice of allowing students to exchange papers for grading. Her son is learning disabled, and unkind classmates ridiculed his scores and called him "dummy." She claimed that the student-grading practice violated federal privacy laws.

The justices pointed out that, under Falvo's interpretation, even putting gold stars on a homework assignment where other students could see it should be prohibited.

It is unfortunate that her son faced such ridicule, and the students who participated should be disciplined for their actions. But no doubt Falvo's lawsuit took the focus, and money, in her son's school away from learning. Perhaps she could have used her resources on a tutor instead of a lawyer.

As it happens, though, the Supreme Court couldn't have been more right to reject unanimously her stance.

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