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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3634
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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What rights do college students have in terms of professors

Customer Question

What rights do college students have in terms of professors conducting clandestine studies on you without your consent or open knowledge. I feel I was a "subject" and that other students were used to carry out the professors scenarios in realtionship to me, while she watched or my guess, is received reports. I could feel and sense and see and hear some of what was going on - too odd and too many to be unnoticed.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.

Zachary D. Norris :

Hi,

Zachary D. Norris :

I'd be happy to assist you.

Zachary D. Norris :

Are you present? I have some questions I need to ask you.

Customer:

yes

Zachary D. Norris :

Gredat

Zachary D. Norris :

What class was this in connection with?

Customer:

business communications

Zachary D. Norris :

And what was the nature of the "study" for which you feel you were a "subject"?

Customer:

guessing, behavior

Zachary D. Norris :

Did the professor publish any results using your name?

Customer:

no

Zachary D. Norris :

In what state did this occur?

Customer:

CA.

Zachary D. Norris :

OK. And when you say you "could feel and sense and see and hear some of what was going on" What do you mean specifically? Can you provide me an example?

Customer:

Not easy to explain, however one example was a student on my left and on my right, each pressuring me to use an unfamiliar softwareprogram, of which I said I do not currently have a need for it now but will consider a class at a later time. There were several instances of this and one day when I arrrived to class to find my computer opened to the program. This sounds silly writing it out - but the point is their consistency and tenacity for no apparent reason.

Zachary D. Norris :

Interesting. Was the software installed on your personal computer, or on a computer at a workstation at the school?

Customer:

workstation.

Customer:

workstation at school.

Zachary D. Norris :

If you used the software, was there any charge for its use?

Customer:

no.

Zachary D. Norris :

OK. Based on what you have said, I do not believe that you have had any legal right violated. The specific legal right would be the right to privacy. However, there has been no disclosure that you can pinpoint that would activate this legal right. On the other hand, if you feel that information is being gathered about you that is not relevant to your academic measurement by the school, and to which you believe you should have informed consent regarding, then this may be an issue you need to take up with the school administration.

Zachary D. Norris :

Have you made any such attempt?

Customer:

Yes. And the reply is, "Do you really think a teacher with x amount of students will go to the trouble of ....." :( I believe the study she is conducting is my reaction to the scanarios she produces. Sometimes they are quite pushy. It made me feel very uncomfortable.

Zachary D. Norris :

Have you confronted the professor yet?

Customer:

Yes. She does not accept and most intersting, does not deny doing anything, only that she is sorry and that she never meant to make me feel uncomfortable. She was very guarded, in what she said.

Zachary D. Norris :

Ok. Well, if the behavior continues, you should press a complaint with the administration. You should make the complaint in written form, and you should look up the university code of conduct applicable to professors.

Zachary D. Norris :

Again, unless your private information is being made public in a way that personally identifies you or reveals any of your academic records, no legal rights have been violated.

Zachary D. Norris :

Do you have any other questions I can answer for you?

Customer:

Hm... so no law against making you apprehensive and ill at ease in class and watching you....lovely

Zachary D. Norris :

I'm afraid not.

Customer:

Ok, thanks.

Zachary D. Norris :

If there were, I would have sued all my law school professors

Customer:

LOL

Zachary D. Norris :

Good Luck, if you are satisfied with my work, please press accept so I may receive credit. Thanks - Zach

Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3634
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok - on the last day of finals, the combined stress of finals and her "scanrios" a couple of days previuosly, nearly caused me to be "non-functioning" meaning difficult to think and speak when trying to give my final presention in a class that was not hers...I think going into depression...not something you like to admit. :( Fortunately I was able to pull myself out of it by the time I got home and could relax. AND I was in counseling because of what I belive was happening in that particular class - but the instructor never stopped even though when I confronted her I asked her to stop doing whatever she was doing. :( And my counselor knew I was very upset, but she believed it was caused by something else...ugh! :( Whether there is or there is not, the point is, is that this particular instructor caused me to nearly slip into depression. And a class room of students saw my odd behavior - but they may have simply attributed it to stress...don't know and school is out now.

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry to hear about the stress you are undergoing because of this subject. To claim damages for things like stress or embarrassment, California has a cause of action called "Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress". I have laid out the law below. However, in my professional opinion, you do not have a good case.

California has long recognized the right to recover damages for the intentional and unreasonable infliction of mental or emotional distress which results in foreseeable physical injury to plaintiff. California courts have also acknowledged the right to recover damages for emotional distress alone, without consequent physical injuries, in cases involving extreme and outrageous intentional invasions of one's mental and emotional tranquility. (State Rubbish etc. Assn. v. Siliznoff (1952) 38 Cal.2d 330, 336-337)
INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
The elements of a prima facie case for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress are:
(1) outrageous conduct by the defendant;
(2) the defendant's intention of causing or reckless disregard of the probability of causing emotional distress;
(3) the plaintiff's suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and
(4) actual and proximate causation of the emotional distress by the defendant's outrageous conduct. (Alcorn v. Anbro Engineering, Inc (1970) 2 Cal.3d 493, 497-498
EMOTIONAL DISTRESS-DEFINED
The term "emotional distress" means mental distress, mental suffering or mental anguish. It includes all highly unpleasant mental reactions, such as fright, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, mortification, shock, humiliation and indignity, as well as physical pain.
SEVERE-DEFINED
The word "severe," in the phrase "severe emotional distress," means substantial or enduring as distinguished from trivial or transitory. Severe emotional distress is emotional distress of such substantial quantity or enduring quality that no reasonable person in a civilized society should be expected to endure it. In determining the severity of emotional distress consideration is given to its intensity and duration.
The Restatement view is that liability "does not extend to mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, petty oppressions, or other trivialities," but only to conduct so extreme and outrageous "as to go beyond all possible bonds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community." (Rest. 2d Torts, § 46, com. d; see Prosser, Law of Torts, supra, at pp. 46-47.) "The emotional distress must in fact exist, and it must be severe." (Prosser, Law of Torts, supra, p. 51; Rest.2d Torts, supra, § 46, Com. j.)
EXTREME AND OUTRAGEOUS CONDUCT-DEFINED
Extreme and outrageous conduct is conduct which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency so as to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.
Extreme and outrageous conduct is not mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, petty oppressions or other trivialities. All persons must necessarily be expected and required to be hardened to a certain amount of rough language and to occasional acts that are definitely inconsiderate and unkind.
Extreme and outrageous conduct, however, is conduct which would cause an average member of the community to immediately react in outrage.
EFFECT OF RELATIONSHIP OF PARTIES
The extreme and outrageous character of the conduct of a defendant may arise from an abuse of a position, or relationship to a plaintiff, which gives such a defendant actual or apparent authority over a plaintiff, or power to affect a plaintiff's interests.
SUSCEPTIBILITY OF PLAINTIFF
The extreme and outrageous character of a defendant's conduct may arise from defendant's knowledge that a plaintiff is peculiarly susceptible to emotional distress by reason of some physical or mental condition or peculiarity. Conduct may become extreme and outrageous when a defendant proceeds in the face of such knowledge, where it would not be so if defendant did not know.
INTENTIONAL AND RECKLESS -- DEFINED
A defendant intended to inflict emotional distress if it is established that he or she desired to cause such distress or knew that such distress was substantially certain to result from his or her conduct.
A defendant's conduct is in reckless disregard of the probability of causing emotional distress if he or she has knowledge of a high degree of probability that emotional distress will result and acts with deliberate disregard of that probability or with a conscious disregard of the probable results.
PRIVILEGE
Conduct, which under other conditions would be extreme and outrageous, may be privileged and a defendant is not liable:
When a defendant has done no more than to insist upon his or her legal rights in a permissible way, even though he or she is well aware that such insistence is certain to cause emotional distress. If you find that defendant in good faith believed that he or she was acting under a legal right, he or she shall be considered as having been acting under such right even though, in fact, he or she had no such right.

When a defendant makes statements in the course of an official proceeding.
NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
The elements of a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress are:
1. The defendant engaged in negligent conduct or a willful violation of a statutory standard;
2. The plaintiff suffered serious emotional distress;
3. The defendant's negligent conduct or willful violation of statutory standards was a cause of the serious emotional distress.
Serious emotional distress is an emotional reaction which is not an abnormal response to the circumstances. It is found where a reasonable person would be unable to cope with the mental distress caused by the circumstances.
CAUSES OF NERVOUS SHOCK
A shock to the nervous system may be caused either by some physical impact or by fright caused by exposure to imminent peril.

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