Teachers, be wary of whom you fail. Some parents have slapped lawsuits on teachers, saying their kids deserved better marks and should be allowed to graduate from high school despite their grades. Arizona English teacher Elizabeth Joice got a letter from a lawyer representing one of the students she failed. The letter asked her to take "whatever action is necessary" for the student to graduate or else the family would sue. Joice said the student plagiarized work, failed a paper and did not attend makeup sessions, among other things. School officials caved and the student was able to retake a test five hours before graduation and receive her diploma. The family's lawyer, Stan Massad, wrote to Joice and claimed the teacher failed to produce a syllabus indicating how she arrived at her grades and said there was a question of subjective grading. He also said Joice assured the student she would graduate. Joice refuted the claims. In January, 15-year-old Ohio resident Elizabeth Smith and her mother sued the Revere School District and 11 teachers over her failing grades. The suit, which sought $6 million, said the school’s grading practices punished the girl for her frequent lateness and absences even though she had excuses. That case has since been dismissed. And in Kansas, several school officials resigned in April after biology teacher Christine Pelton gave 28 of her 118 students a grade of zero for a project she said students plagiarized. The school board later reduced the students' penalties and directed Pelton to change the project's weight of the total semester grade. Pelton resigned a day later. Some parents thought the students were not given enough information about plagiarism and said Pelton was inexperienced. But Pelton said she asked parents and students to sign a syllabus in which she laid out the definition of plagiarism and the penalty. In a day and age when litigation appears to be the most effective way to get what you want, the question is whether teachers should alter their methods to keep lawyers at bay cont....