Based on grades, Bowen is a good student. In his first two years at Albany High School, he received only two "Bs," the rest were "As", which is why he was so devastated when he received a "C+" in chemistry, a grade he and his mother say, he didn't deserve.
Bethards is a year away from college and dreams of going to UCLA. But the "C+" he received in chemistry his sophomore year at Albany High could jeopardize his chances.
He and his mother Laureen are now suing the chemistry teacher, the principal and the district.
"They allowed a rogue teacher to deny him what he had worked so hard for and what he had earned to basically steal from him," Laureen Bethards said.
She says the whole ordeal began when Bowen missed a lab to attend an adoption hearing of his younger sister. Bethards says the teacher, award-winning, district veteran Peggy Carlock initially agreed to let Bowen make-up the lab, but then changed her mind and gave him a failing grade for lab work.
Bethards says because of that, Bowen's "A+" in chemistry turned into a "C+" for the semester.
"If Laureen is a helicopter mom, she's a Black Hawk attack helicopter and we're going to get justice," family attorney Daniel Horowitz said.
District officials have since changed Bowen's "C+" to a "B", but the Bethards family wants either an "A+" or the opportunity to make up the missed work. They are also seeking $10,000 from the district and damages for severe emotional distress.
Bowen's mom says there is much at stake.
"It could determine what schools he does or does not get admitted into and it could impact his ability to pursue his dreams that he's worked so hard for," she said.
Carlock is no longer working at Albany High School. ABC7 News' attempts to reach her and the school district before deadline were unsuccessful.
As for Bowen, he has since transferred to Berkeley High School, where he has received all "As".