Baton Rouge Teacher Sues for the Right to Give Students “F”s

Wednesday, May 05, 2010
(graphic: Islets of Hope)

Are fourth-graders too young to fail? Prevented from flunking her students, Sheila Goudeau of Louisiana is suing local school officials in East Baton Rouge for interfering with her duties as a teacher. Goudeau, a 20-year veteran instructor who teaches fourth-graders, alleges in her lawsuit that Shilonda Shamlin, the principal of Riveroaks Elementary School, ordered the faculty to not grade lower than 60%, in effect a “D.” She claims the restriction is a violation of a state law that forbids administrative and school board officials from influencing or altering grades given out by teachers.

Goudeau, who is now teaching at a different school, further claims that “illegal alteration of students’ grades misled the affected students and their parents into thinking they were passing and obtaining the required skills to proceed to fifth grade, when in reality those students were neither passing nor obtaining the requisite skills needed for the fifth grade.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
No F's Allowed? Teacher Sues School (by Sabrina Canfield, Courthouse News Service)
Sheila Goudeau v. East Baton Rouge Parish School Board (U.S. District Court, Middle Louisiana) (pdf)


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