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April 30, 2012

Here's Why We Have A Cheating Problem In Schools

Parents don't back the school when students are punished for cheating -- they sue the school instead.

Caught copying another student’s homework, a California sophomore was kicked out of honors English. His parents admit he cheated, violating the Academic Honesty Pledge he’d signed at the start of the year. But the cheater’s parents are suing, claiming the teen’s due process rights were violated, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The boy’s father, Jack Berghouse, said the punishment is too severe and could make it harder for his son to get into a top college.

The school offered to let the boy enter the International Baccalaureate program in 11th and 12th grade with others in the honors track and to keep the cheating incident off his transcript. But that wasn’t enough for the parents.

I wish I could say I am surprised by this story -- but I'm not. My second year of teaching (at a Catholic school in Illinois, not in my current school or district), I caught a freshman boy copying off of another classmate. As a result, the two boys received a zero on the assignment, were suspended for three days and -- in the case of the copier -- forced to sit out one freshman soccer game that was scheduled during the suspension. That night I received a phone call at home from the cheater's father, demanding that I quit persecuting his son and request that the suspension be dropped so that he would not miss the game. Why? Out of concern that the punishment would harm his chances at a college soccer scholarship. What really burned my butt was that I had an unlisted phone number and that it was given to the parent by the athletic director -- who was also the assistant principal who imposed the suspension in the first place! Needless to say, I didn't go along -- and the incident was was one of the reasons I didn't return the following year.

But now parents are going to court to overturn punishments for cheating? Incredible!

My fellow Watcher's Council member Hube offers his take on the same subject.





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And the flip side of that coin is the story of my niece who, after having been caught cheating for the third time that semester, was still not going to be punished. The school was, however, going to have to call her father (single parent) this time. When BIL arrived at the school to discuss her suspension/punishment, he was informed that nothing was going to be done even though this was the third time she'd been caught cheating -- a fact he was learning about at that very moment because the school had not thought it necessary to inform him of the previous instances.....none of which were punished in any way, shape or form.

|| Posted by DL Sly, April 30, 2012 07:29 AM ||
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NAME: Greg
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