CEDARVILLE — A Cedarville University student has filed a lawsuit against the school and a professor in Greene County Common Pleas Court.
Glenn M. Hartle II, from Warsaw, Ohio, filed the lawsuit March 10 against the university and biology assistant professor Cynthia Carol Wingert alleging slander, libel, defamation of character and other wrongful acts as a result of Hartle’s performance on a human structure and function I final exam, administered by Wingert.
According to the lawsuit, Hartle was given a grade of “incomplete” on the final exam after Wingert “admonished” him “that he could not have done so well on the examination without cheating.”
The eight-page document says Hartle denied Wingert’s allegations and indicated that he had “both studied for the examination and had utilized test-taking strategies. He further informed Ms. Wingert that he had found a pattern on the examinations, as he had been taught to do.”
Hartle claims Wingert harassed, humiliated and degraded him and insisted that because he had “done so well on the examination, plaintiff did not deserve the grade he had earned” despite the fact that Hartle had received an “A” and a “B-” in his other classes that semester.
Hartle was ordered to retake the exam or fail the course. He appealed the incomplete grade but no action was taken by the defendants, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also claims that since December 2015, Wingert has made statements to various persons “without privilege” to the effect that Hartle had cheated on the exam and made other false and malicious statements which “reflect poorly upon the character and reputation” of Hartle.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and special damages in excess of $25,000 and punitive damages in excess of $25,000 along with reasonable attorney fees. It also requests a jury trial.
Hartle’s Dublin-based attorney, James H. Banks, could not be reached for comment. Wingert referred requests for comment to the university’s public relations department.
The university issued a statement saying, “Cedarville University takes its role of educating students, and caring for its faculty and staff, very seriously. While it’s generally not been our practice to comment on details of active litigation, it is our policy to we pursue resolutions consistent with biblical principles. Since the lawsuit has just been filed, and FERPA limits what can be disclosed about students, it is inappropriate to make further comment about the claim at this time.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.