So Much Cheating……. What Happens When it is Actually the Student?

A student at Redwood City High School was recently expelled from his honors English class after it was discovered that he had copied another student’s homework. We applaud Redwood City High for taking swift and firm action in addressing cheating, but only if such action was not retaliatory in nature AND only if the school has treated all cases of cheating, academically or  athletically, equitably.

The parents of the cheating student have now filed a lawsuit against the high school claiming that the policy was vague and it was not understood that homework was included in the policy. Since teachers within the same school often have vastly different ideas related to homework including; how much is assigned, if it is worked on in small groups or if it is even graded. In the absence of a uniform homework policy that is clearly communicated and equitably enforced to the entire student body, the case has merit.

Within CCS all athletes appear to be bound by the same rules, but there seems to be constant exceptions. In some cases CCS has penalized one school for cheating, and ignored the cheating of another school. Some athletes have been granted privileges, when other athletes in very similar circumstances have been denied those same privileges.  Some coaches have lost their jobs for what would seem like a minor rule infraction, while others have remained on the job and continue to blatantly violate rules and regulations. Of course athletes and students are confused! When the adults around them fail to set  rules and enforce rules with transparency or equity,  it is confusing. When the adults  fail to act with integrity themselves, how can we expect children to understand how they should act.

So before we determine if the case against Redwood City is frivolous, we might realize there may be bigger questions to ask and if the case moves forward the school will have to demonstrate the policy was clear, reasonable and equitably applied. If that information becomes part of a lawsuit and in the public domain, we all benefit and iron curtain that has protected schools and CCS-CIF may be lifted.

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About ccswatchdog
Grassroots organization providing information to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability of CIF's Central Coast Section.

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