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10th Grader Falsely Accused of Cheating

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Replies to: 10th Grader Falsely Accused of Cheating

  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,445 Senior Member
    In some preps, the homeroom teachers are the point of contact- coordinators or mentors. A bridge of sorts. And when adults falsely confess, they can land in the same pickle.

    Though it's not usual, a lot of kids are in BC in 10th. That, in itself, only shows he's capable.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 2,127 Senior Member
    If your relationship with school is that adversarial, and you seriously suspect it of frequent wrong-doing and false accusations, your child shouldn't attend, as little education will occur in that environment. Some parents expect school officials to enforce school rules on campus.
  • dazedandbemuseddazedandbemused Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    >Why in the world would a teacher need 2 adult back ups to discuss this with their student?

    I know it seems like an impossibility to both the student and parent, but it's entirely possible that the 2 homeroom teachers were there to support/comfort the student. Especially since the OP also wrote this:

    >The homeroom teachers stated in the meeting that he was a "brilliant" student and that they did not hold the incident against him, nor did they feel that it was a reflection of his character. They said they thought he just made a mistake. Also, there's no reason for him to get an F in the course, unless he fails on everything for the rest of the semester.

    The school may also have a policy that there needs to be a second teacher in the room for difficult discussions with students.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,445 Senior Member
    I might not say the teacher had "proof." Only that he had suspicions. Thus, the meet with the student.
  • Nocreativity1Nocreativity1 Registered User Posts: 965 Member
    edited February 18
    Jazzymomof7 "Where did the OP say they both had the same wrong answer?"

    OP did say ""he had the same answer on two problems of the person sitting next to him, basically without the supporting steps outlined thereon."

    I suspect lots of kids sitting next to one another had the correct answer. It's common sense that the accusation was based on two identical wrong answers with one not providing supporting work.

    Two take aways from the following OP statement if taken at face value; "My son has been at this school for 4 years and has an impeccable reputation as a great student with a lot integrity, empathy, and is an all-around asset there in every regard. He does not cheat, has never cheated, has never needed to cheat, and I believe him."

    1) He wouldn't have been accused unless there was a real basis for the claim.
    2) His entire world views this kid in a way that is extremely hard to live up to. He likely feels pressure to uphold and maintain this image and certainly the last person he would want to disappoint is his parents. That type of pressure can cause a child to act out of character.

    No proof but then again we are all speculating.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,320 Forum Champion
    Devil's advocate:

    Your son is taking Calc BC in 10th grade. That is super advanced.
    Maybe he was having issues finishing the test...maybe he did copy some answers.
    Maybe he doesn't want to disappoint you or himself that he can be this advanced.
    I am sure he has always been "the math whiz" but what if he couldn't do this level of math at this age?
  • ordinarylivesordinarylives Registered User Posts: 3,182 Senior Member
    Just following this because I am interested in cheating. But I'm not following how the the thread got to the place where the obviously brilliant math student is smarter than teacher and can do math in his head, thereby bypassing the steps?

    Even if teacher was not a calc student in high school, calc I and II (the equivalents of Calc BC) are freshmen level courses. Teacher presumably has at least an undergrad major in mathematics and probably some graduate level work in mathematics as he or she is teaching AP. But, hey, the 10th grader in calculus no doubt knows more?

    As for the kids doing math in their heads, well bully for them, but the learning mathematics isn't about just solving problems, it's a systematic way of learning/thinking, which does involve learning to write down of steps, no matter how brilliant the learner, as skipping steps leads to mistakes later on. So, clearly the genius can compute, but does he understand the process? Answers with no steps would be a red flag.
  • SatchelSFSatchelSF Registered User Posts: 1,385 Senior Member
    edited February 18
    Many of the above points are well taken, but in talking about kids' abilities in math especially, there is often a selection effect. The younger the student who takes the test, generally the greater the ability.
    10th grade is fairly early to be taking BC Calc, especially because school systems tend to throw up many roadblocks to acceleration.

    About 3.9% of kids who take BC calc do it in 10th grade, ~0.4% in 9th and 0.08% in <9th. I bet most of all those <11th grade kids get 5s, but the highest percentage of 5s will be the elementary school kids.

    We just don't know enough about OP's kid, but we shouldn't make too many assumptions either way. As the parent of a kid who often didn't (or wouldn't) show intermediate work, I have unfortunately encountered the whole range of ability and temperament with respect to elementary and high school teachers.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 2,127 Senior Member
    But regardless of ability, the student presumably showed work for all the other problems on this test, and has done so for the last 6 months, so an exception is very hard to explain.
  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 Registered User Posts: 6,690 Senior Member
    Andromache wrote:
    He said he had "consulted with a colleague" who also said it was impossible from the work on the page to derive those answers.
    I had to go back to OP's post to catch this statement. Of course coming at us 3rd hand it is open to interpretation, but my reading of it is that the student might have started down the wrong path with the work shown, and then just plunked down the right answers. On TWO problems. If the logic isn't there, then he couldn't have arrived at said answer on that path.

    And for all those who think their kids are so brilliant that they just don't have to bother with writing down their logic, that's horsepucky. Even the most brilliant scientists and mathematicians have to be able to convey their reasoning to others. We don't just take them at their word.
  • bamamom2021bamamom2021 Registered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    Would love for the OP to come back and update or at least answer the questions. The OP has implied that it is a private school. Not nearly as many roadblocks to acceleration as in a public school.

    The data you are posting @SatchelSF is from the actual test % but not everyone in these classes takes the tests There are amazing math minds out there of which no one here would deny. I would venture that there are other students whose parents push to accelerate their child to keep up with the truly brilliant math minds and want their child to have the same opportunities and take the same classes. The pressure to keep up is intense. Not sure where OP's son fall on this but it doesn't change the action/reaction at all.

    Either way, I don't think anyone here is questioning the intelligence of this teen. Intelligent teens make mistakes as easily as those not as brilliant. I bet every one of our own children could share with us stories of watching/knowing their peers cheat-- even those that were top of the class and off the charts intelligent. The school did not question his intelligence (on the contrary as the mom tells it the homeroom teacher confirmed that he is "brilliant"), they questioned his work on a test.

    This is not about how brilliant or not the OP's son may be. It is about a child not having work that matches an answer that may or *may not* be correct. It is about a reasonable doubt about cheating (elevated to administration) and questioning a student for explanation. No valid explanation was forthcoming ( mom's words: "It is Calc BC and no one else in the room (the homeroom teachers) understands the his explanation. My son got really emotional and broke down in tears, and couldn't really explain himself well.") but he was able to explain that he cheated. This is about a mom who then vilifies the staff in an attempt to prove that her son would not/could not/did not cheat, calling into question their motives, their actions, and their intelligence. This is about posters who are quick to jump on and believe that a 10th grade kid would NOT cheat but that adults would risk their reputations and careers to bully a teen and accuse him for some unknown power trip based on bits and pieces from an angry mom.
  • yourmommayourmomma Registered User Posts: 1,227 Senior Member
    - Teacher meets with son along with his 2 homeroom teachers (who presumably know him better).
    - Son admits to cheating.
    - Son informs mom later that night and admits lying but says they were "very angry and insisting"

    Maybe the "angry and insisting" part needs to come first? How about this:

    - Son is removed from class and meets with math teacher and 2 homeroom teachers.
    - Son is asked if he cheated.
    - Son says no.
    - Son is explained the ramifications of cheating, and asked again if he cheated.
    - Son says no, again.
    - Son is getting upset and anxious.
    - Teacher says he doesn't believe him, and is asked again if he cheated.
    - Son says no, again.
    - Son starts to sweat. More anxiety.
    - Son is asked "how did you get the answer then?"
    - Son tries to explain but explanation is not accepted.
    - Son breaks down emotionally.
    - Son is asked again if he cheated. Son says no.
    - "Good" cop enters the conversation. "You know this will go easier for you if you just be honest." "We're not going to do anything to you. Just be honest." "You cheated, didn't you."
    - Son says "yes."
    - Questioning stops and son is relieved, but continues to sob.




  • yourmommayourmomma Registered User Posts: 1,227 Senior Member
    I had to go back to OP's post to catch this statement. Of course coming at us 3rd hand it is open to interpretation, but my reading of it is that the student might have started down the wrong path with the work shown, and then just plunked down the right answers. On TWO problems. If the logic isn't there, then he couldn't have arrived at said answer on that path.

    And for all those who think their kids are so brilliant that they just don't have to bother with writing down their logic, that's horsepucky. Even the most brilliant scientists and mathematicians have to be able to convey their reasoning to others. We don't just take them at their word.

    The problem is that we don't know what the work showed or didn't show.
  • coolweathercoolweather Registered User Posts: 5,919 Senior Member
    edited February 18
    Some of my math and engineering tests in college had this requirement by the professors: "Show your work. No work no credit." Cal BC is a college level class.

    2 of my 3 kids took Cal BC in 10 grade too. They dare not to ignore the teachers' rules because they knew they would lose points. My son could answer algebra questions in the middle school Mathcounts competition or calculus questions in high school academic league competitions in less than 3 or 5 seconds.
This discussion has been closed.