Yesterday a fellow educator and friend called me and left me a message regarding the policy on plagairism. We both work in the same school district, but she teaches at the elementary level and I teach high school. Her daughter attends a college prepatory high school (where all the classes are honors or AP) and their policy on plagairism is as follows: The first time you are caught, you get a warning and an 'F' on the assignment. The second time, you get an 'F' for the trimester. So my friend thought that was a bit strict. Her exact words were "Kids cheat, so what?" Now, I was a bit appalled by this. This is why many kids have such low standards regarding education. I tried to explain to her that I am not sure of the exact policy, but since this is a college prep school, they are trying to get the students prepared for college. A lot of colleges have strict guidelines regarding plagairism. Some schools place students on academic probation for a quarter/semester whereas others expel the students.
Many people don't believe plagairism is such a big deal, but it is(just ask some of the people here who have been victimized. First, it speaks to your character. It tells people that you lack integrity and will do whatever it takes to get by. Secondly, it shows that you are unable to think for yourself and you have to rely on others. Lastly, I believe it proves that you are not as smart as you think you are. If you believe the teacher or others will be convinced that you wrote the paper, you are sadly mistaken.
Nevertheless, my friend was complaining about the school and the policy. She also stated that her daughter was unhappy there and wanted to transfer. When I asked her what school was she thinking about transferring her to, she mentioned all college prep schools. Maybe she doesn't know it's not that simple to get her daughter into another college prep school, especially if there is a speculation of plagairism. She may be able to get her into her neighborhood school, but there is a reason she opted not to do that in the first place. All schools are not created equal.
As I listened to my friend, I thought how ignorant are you and your child. You don't realize that this school is trying to build character in your child and teach her the correct way to do a paper and you are fighting them on it. Since your child is not willing to be challenged, you want her to go somewhere else. What does she think is going to happen if she gets into another college prep school? Does she actually believe her child is going to do better? She is going to take that same bad habit with her to her new school.
I was so glad when we finished talking because I was beginning to get upset. I couldn't believe another educator was upset because a teacher was trying to prepare her child for life. I want teachers to hold my child to a higher standard. I don't want them or her to be mediocre. It's parents like that who have set their child(ren) up to fail.