|Dr William Klug.|
Image Source: UCLA.
Killing someone over a bad grade is obviously an extreme reaction by the UCLA student (if this is true). There is no doubt that people can react strongly to low grades. I have seen this myself as I have awarded "bad grades" many times, and though I have not experienced anger - I have had several students disagree with the grade I awarded (I once had a student who was very unhappy with a grade of over 80%!). Most, if not all, Colleges have procedures where students can receive formal feedback on grades, and can appeal results. They will also have External Examiners to ensure standards are appropriate. In the end - it is my professional opinion what an assignment/essay/exam is worth. I have to remember that I don't "fail" students, they fail themselves. An academic can be a bit of a snob at times to students ("I have a PhD and years of experience in this subject - what have you got?"), but we can obviously get things wrong just like everyone else. We take great care to make sure the basics are done when grading, for example - adding the marks up correctly and then inputting the grades into the College's systems correctly. It also helps if you have a brilliant Exams Office who check everything.
The death of William Klug shows that anyone is vulnerable to gun violence. We are all vulnerable to anger and resentment. A "bad grade" can have a life changing effect on a student - it could mean that they lose out on a job application or progression to a higher level course. It could even mean they are paid less than others doing the same job. Getting angry won't change things.
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