Fair or not Fair? What's Your take?

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bunniefuu
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Fair or not Fair? What's Your take?

Post by bunniefuu » 06/18/02 11:59

If a teacher failed you for cheating. How would you handle it?

Credit to CNN.com
Quote:
Teacher resigns over plagiarism fight
February 7, 2002 Posted: 8:04 AM EST (1304 GMT)

High school teacher Christine Pelton resigned from her position after the school board didn't stand by her decision to fail students for plagiarism.

PIPER, Kansas (AP) -- High school teacher Christine Pelton wasted no time after discovering that nearly a fifth of her biology students had plagiarized their semester projects from the Internet.

She had received her rural Kansas district's backing before when she accused students of cheating, and she expected it again this time after failing the 28 sophomores.

Her principal and superintendent agreed: It was plagiarism and the students should get a zero for the assignment.

But after parents complained, the Piper School Board ordered her to go easier on the guilty.

Pelton resigned in protest in an episode that some say reflects a national decline in integrity.

"This kind of thing is happening every day around the country, where people with integrity are not being backed by their organization," said Michael Josephson, founder and president of the Josephson Institute of Ethics in Marina del Rey, Calif.

Josephson pointed to the Enron bankruptcy scandal, in which an executive whistle-blower had warned superiors about the potential consequences of energy trader's off-the-books business deals.

Also in recent months, some of the nation's top historians, including Stephen Ambrose, have been accused of borrowing passages from other authors without proper credit.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis was suspended without pay for a year from Mount Holyoke College after lying to his students about serving in Vietnam. Notre Dame University football coach George O'Leary resigned after falsifying his athletic and academic achievements on his resume.

"It's so hard to keep sending the message that character counts when you have officials saying it doesn't count that much," Josephson said.

In Piper, about 20 miles west of Kansas City, Mo., students got that message loud and clear, Pelton said.

"The students no longer listened to what I had to say," she said. "They knew if they didn't like anything in my classroom from here on out, they can just go to the school board and complain."

Piper High School junior Brandon Schmalz, 17, agreed. "That was bad. She was right, and they were wrong," Schmalz said of the board.

Pelton, 26, resigned days after the board ordered her to give the students partial credit and to decrease the project's value from 50 percent of the final course grade to 30 percent.

Board president Chris McCord did not give a reason for the Dec. 11 decision, which was made behind closed doors. He said it was not prompted by parents' complaints.

"If I had known all the publicity that would have come with this, I would still make the same decision," McCord said.

One of the complaining parents was Theresa Woolley, who told The Kansas City Star that her daughter did not plagiarize. Rather, her daughter was not sure how much she needed to rewrite research material, she said.

But Pelton said the course syllabus, which she required students to sign, warned of the consequences of cheating and plagiarism.

Rutgers University professor of management Donald McCabe, who has researched academic dishonesty in high schools and colleges, said many teachers ignore cheating, and the Kansas episode illustrates why.

"Parents are going to complain to principals and the school board, and teachers feel there's no reason to believe they'll get support," said McCabe, whose study of high school students in 2000-01 found that 74 percent had cheated or plagiarized during the prior year.

What is worse, McCabe said, is that tolerance of dishonesty disheartens other students, who have to compete with the cheaters to get into college.

"If they see teachers looking the other way, students feel compelled to participate even though it makes them uncomfortable," McCabe said. "The loss of that sense of fairness is the fundamental reason students cheat."

In Kansas, at least a dozen teachers have said they plan to leave the district after the school year because of the episode, said Lee Quisenberry, a teachers union representative.

"You can get away with anything whether you're honest or not," Pelton said. The board's decision hurt "the honest people, and that's the worst thing about it."

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Post by Spicey Tabasco Rookie » 06/18/02 19:02

Wow, that's weird that you would post something about Kansas cause that's where I live. I had a cousin that acutally went to that school a couple years back... But I never heard anything about this story.

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Post by bunniefuu » 06/19/02 03:00

Mary~ It just happened 4 months ago! What the article also didn't mention was that the teacher told them if they rewrote it and did some extra credit activities she would give them a D but not fail them. Of course that never happened because the parents complained that they didn't "intentionally" plagerize and the school board backed the parents. Of course I agree with what the local DJ said in response to those parents, that the kids didn't "intentionally" plan to get caught.

If it was me, Or my parents, they would of sided with the teacher in heartbeat. I would of accepted the rewrite and extra credit and taken a D. Because I agree with the teacher. What's wrong is clearly wrong. The world has gotten so used to finding little loopholes around everything. The morals of the teacher I respect in this case.

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Post by AbsoluteAngel58 » 06/19/02 03:28

Yeah if those were my parents I would've gotten into so much trouble and they wouldn't have sided with me. They would've definitely sided with the teacher.

It's wrong that the school board backed up the kids cuz what they did was wrong and they gotta learn to own up to their mistakes.

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Post by Laura » 06/20/02 11:19

Plagiarism is against the law. So that student is lucky to be only failed. And the school district is essentially saying that the law is a bunch of hoochie, which is just downright unAmerican and will cause the state of Kansas to be plunged into anchary. At which time the rest of the country will boot them out, and all the law abiding folks from Kansas will gang up on the school district officials from Piper.

OK, maybe that won't exactly happen. But I think the whiney parents should have been blamed as well, since they must have taught their kid it was ok to steal someone else's work.

I'll stop talking now before I fall off this soapbox.

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Post by bunniefuu » 06/20/02 18:07

Laura, Love your little scenerio there.

What gets me, is that out of all 28, let me repeat that, 28 students.. NOT ONE PARENT stood behind the teacher or demonstrated any morals of their own. What do you expect the children to think? I just can't believe how many parents are slacking on teaching their kids anything now a days. No wonder we have so many idiots in the world. I guess it shouldn't surprise me, but it does. I would think that at least one (if not all) should of punished their child and explained that they cheated plain and simple.

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Post by Spicey Tabasco Rookie » 06/20/02 18:31

I know, I feel sorry for that poor teacher cause she was just doing her job!

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Post by bunniefuu » 06/20/02 18:37

Yes, and I was actually glad to see her stand her ground and resign instead of giving in to the school board. Those students were lucky to have a teacher so passionate, enough to teach one the true values of the system.

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Post by Spicey Tabasco Rookie » 06/21/02 10:25

Ya. I wish some of my teachers were like that

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