A woman in Wisconsin is attempting to change her course grade from an F to an A, by taking her creative writing professor to court, USA Today reports.
Donna Kikkert—who is completing a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point—said the selected texts for her poetry writing class were filled with "lesbians, illicit sexual relationships, incest and frequent swearing."
The 59-year-old complained to Professor Patricia Dyjak, saying the class should be focused on classic authors such as Edgar Allan Poe or Robert Frost.
After receiving an F grade for the course, Kikkert said the decision was punishment for criticising Dyjak’s text choices, calling it "capricious retaliation".
In her claim, Kikkert says of her teacher: "She has swung the pendulum far to the side of LGBT students and, in doing so, has chosen to totally discount the importance and the validity of the mainstream student population.”
She also raises concerns about Dyjak’s behaviour, saying that she exposed her breasts while showing the class a tattoo on her back.
Kikkert goes on to demand that Dyjak be suspended without pay for a year or be fired—as well as requesting that her grade be improved.
However, the university is standing firmly behind Dyjak with the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs—Greg Summers—stressing the importance of academic freedom.
"We're interested in teaching you the skills necessary to think and form your own judgments," he said. "Part of that is encountering ideas that you may not be comfortable with and you may not agree with, and being able to encounter those ideas, empathise with them enough to take them seriously and then form your own judgment."
Assistant Attorney General Katherine Spitz requested the case be thrown out because there was no legal basis to her claim.
"Kikkert's complaint fails because it does not provide any legal authority or other basis (and the defendant's counsel is aware of none) upon which this court could require Dyjak to teach the work of certain poets in a college course ... or to provide any particular student with the grade that student believes she deserves, rather than the one she earned," Spitz wrote in court records.
The case has since been dismissed by a county judge, although Kikkert is considering launching an appeal.