In my General Mystery story (set in our world, modern times), there's a college professor (well-respected, been teaching for years, and has a PhD) who lost his wife and small daughter to a drunk driver a few years before the story takes place. By sheer luck and coincidence, the former drunk driver -- now paralyzed and in a wheelchair -- is a student in his class. Here's what I planned for the college professor to do: • Be as passive-aggressive as possible; refuse to grade and turn in this student's papers and insinuate that the student never bothered to write them. “You obviously think you're above it all,” he tells the student in his office. The papers are ungraded and at the professor's home. • Crack jokes about paralyzed people out loud where the student can hear it. Maybe he even stretches his legs and announces he will be running the tracks that weekend. At one point, he even blocks the student's way to the elevator and says, “Take the stairs.” • When confronted by the main character, Kevin, the teacher says something to the effect of, “I had a life. I had a future and he took it from me. If he wanted to ruin my future, I'll ruin his.” In short, he's doing everything he can to ensure the student fails the class. And bonus, the class is a requirement needed for the student to graduate. • He ignores the student's questions, refuses to engage the student in the class debates on the subject. I keep looking at this and thinking, This is an unbelievably cruel character. No way will anyone find him sympathetic, even if he did suffer a tragedy. While that may be the point of his character, to show how anger and pain can really twist someone on the inside, would he even get away with all this? I would think that at some point, the Dean or a Chairman would be called in to discipline him for belittling and mistreating a student -- a disabled one at that. At the end, he does change slightly and start acting more humane toward the student, but would he even get the chance before he lost his job because he let a personal vendetta get in the way? If an actual professor, in our world, did all of this, could he actually get away with it, or would he be fired/disciplined in a heartbeat? Now, it's possible that the professor does get disciplined, so he has to find more subtle ways to ‘strike back’ at his student but I'm thinking that eventually someone would get tired of his shit, report him, and he finds himself unemployed. Thoughts?