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10th Grader Falsely Accused of Cheating

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Replies to: 10th Grader Falsely Accused of Cheating

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 75,146 Senior Member
    My take away....this kid should be told to tell the truth. If he really didn’t cheat, there was absolutely no reason for him to lie and say he did.

    And I also agree, this is not the end of his life as he knows it.
  • jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 Registered User Posts: 245 Junior Member
    edited February 18
    @bamamom2021 You’ve raised some good points about the potential fallout, and for that reason alone, it might be best to move on with the kid learning to call his parents at the first sign of trouble.

    In general, regardless of whether or not the kid actually cheated, the 3 adults vs 1 child meeting and coerced confession were highly inappropriate.

    The kid should have been asked if he cheated, and if he said no, and there was no proof, the teacher either needs to move on and grade the test or call parents in for a discussion.

    I do think it may be wise for the OP to avoid a battle with teachers and staff if her son is going to stay at the school, but she should definitely share her concerns about the meeting and lack of parental notification with the head of school so they can refine their policy re: suspected cheating. This can be done in a diplomatic way, such as, “I understand the teacher had concerns about my son’s test, and I know things like this happen, but I’d also like to share my concerns about the way this was handled.

    There is NO reason for a meeting such as the OP described to take place. Sadly, it is not at all difficult for me to believe that there are adults out there who bully children. That is why parents need to be notified and involved.
  • jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 Registered User Posts: 245 Junior Member
    Also, if the teacher had no proof that the student cheated, why not start by simply saying, “I don’t see how the work you’ve shown here leads to the answer you provided. Can you explain how you arrived at this answer?”

    I do not understand why 3 adults felt the need to corner this kid.
  • Nocreativity1Nocreativity1 Registered User Posts: 967 Member
    edited February 18
    "he had the same answer on two problems of the person sitting next to him, basically without the supporting steps outlined thereon. "

    This likely raised the accusation because the same two answers were both incorrect and identical. Under that circumstance it is a reasonable accusation. I suspect if he had the correct answer he would have gotten the traditional "show your work next time".

    People jump to a conclusion that an educator woke up and randomly decided to falsely accuse a kid and then coerce a confession is a stretch.

    Very unlikely that a kid gets the same wrong answer without cheating and the one who shows the work deserved the benefit of the doubt.

    I don't know the facts but my default reaction isn't to view my kid as entirely right or wrong because to do so would set him up for future failure and disappointment I would ask the kid to explain what seems implausible and tell them I support them either way. Then get to why the kid felt enough pressure to compromise their own moral code.
  • coolweathercoolweather Registered User Posts: 5,921 Senior Member
    I googled whether school admins can question students without parent presence.

    Many lawyers say yes. I cannot post those links because they are ad sites for private legal business.

    I think this site is not an ad:

    https://www.nyssba.org/news/2007/12/07/on-board-online-dec-10-2007/parents-not-entitled-to-be-present-when-students-questioned/
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 2,164 Senior Member
    The teacher did have proof the kid cheated, that's why the allegation was made. An answer sheet with identical answers to the kid next to him and no work shown is pretty conclusive. There are very, very few kids who do the work only in their heads at the calc BC level (unlike,at the arithmetic levels) and if he was one of them, the school would already know all about it for a long time.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 5,162 Senior Member
    Was just about to ask the same thing as #49 - were both answer wrong? If there is no work, with the same wrong answer, I think it's much more suspect.

    I also don't know teachers who jump to the conclusion that kids cheat.

    What I also don't understand, is why a student would confess to something they didn't do, no matter how stressed out.

    I would take a step back from this OP and dig deeper into the facts.

    Sounds like the school is willing to give a 0 and move on, and not put this on his record. If that's the case, I would chock this up as a learning experience and move on.

    FWIW, not showing work in my dd's hs math classes would have been a 0 on it's own.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,491 Senior Member
    He was told that he had cheated, because he had the same answer on two problems of the person sitting next to him, basically without the supporting steps outlined thereon.

    Doesn't this offer a different perspective? The 2 extra adults were his two homeroom teachers. It's the son who described it as "a tribunal." That may be true. Or not. First, you get the best picture of the facts, as best you can.

    How do we get to bullying and incompetent teachers forcing a kid into submission? Or this notion he's got to be brilliant, because he got the same answer as the kid next to him, without the math proofs?

    What was under his control, was not cheating. (Not accusing him of this. We don't know.) After the accusation, it was the confession. Imo, the problem isn't the lack of an attorney. The whole thing started with test answers matching another, without his own math proofs. Brilliant or not.

    We don't know if the math proofs were expected. Much we don't know.
  • gpo613gpo613 Registered User Posts: 230 Junior Member
    I didn't read through all the posts but I share what we have told our children when it comes to being called down to the principal's office. We tell them to say nothing and only that they should call their parents(us). Never admit to anything. Thankfully they have never been sent to the office.

    I don't trust schools to always do what is in the best interest of my children.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,220 Super Moderator
    edited February 18
    I agree with the idea that there are kids who can solve most BC calc problems appearing on typical high school tests in their heads
    Even for the super-advanced math kids, this is very rare at this level of math. But even is the kid is one of those few, unless this school is on a block system, the incident happened ~22 weeks into the course. If there was a pattern of not showing work, that should have/would have been previously addressed.

    But at the end of the day, we're only hearing one side of the story. The parent may have only listened to one side of the story (hearing being different than listening). Regardless, we have only one side, and the story I am seeing has numerous holes, not necessarily deliberately. I wish the OP and kid the best of luck in resolving.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 Registered User Posts: 245 Junior Member
    Where did the OP say they both had the same wrong answer?

    There are ways multiple students can arrive at the same wrong answer, but I can agree that under these circumstances that might arouse suspicion.

    I don’t assume the teacher woke up wanting to jump on the students. I do think students are sometimes falsely accused, and I don’t assume students are guilty without evidence.

    If he is guilty, he deserves the zero. Even if he IS guilty, the handling of this was inappropriate.
  • yourmommayourmomma Registered User Posts: 1,237 Senior Member
    That's why I want to see the test. It starts with review of the evidence. Is it really what the teacher says it is? Heck, we had a situation in HS math where the proofs where wrong, for years. I accused my kid of not doing the homework and concentrating. When he looked at the proofs and explained where they went wrong I had egg on my face.

    Show me the evidence first. Tell me why you think it's cheating. Then we can talk to the kid.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,556 Senior Member
    Why in the world would a teacher need 2 adult back ups to discuss this with their student?
    Adults give false confessions--I don't know why one teen confronted by three adults should be any different.

    The kid is in Calc BC in 10th grade--I consider that pretty smart at least in my book.
    I agree work should be shown--my teachers just would give no credit to those problems with no work.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 2,164 Senior Member
    I think the handling of it was fine. The young man was asked by his teachers what happened, and explained. Teens should be capable of doing that without assistance if they are going to college in a few years. Was it awkward and unpleasant? Likely, For all involved. Learn the lesson, and put it behind you.
  • yourmommayourmomma Registered User Posts: 1,237 Senior Member
    Apparently some of you have never dealt with school administrators and bogus accusations. It happened to me back in the day. And then happened to my kid. He was "busted" for smoking smarties (sounds worse than it is -- google it). The guy who busted him was a real tool. He railroaded a bunch of kids during his "investigation." They gave them the "choice" of an immediate detention that afternoon, or if they waited an in-school suspension (some choice). I spoke to him on the phone -- something about a district wide problem, safety, blah, blah, blah. The guy was a flat our liar. Afterwords I just said to myself what the ____. We brought the issue to the Principal. She couldn't believe her ears. She took care of it. By the end of the semester the guy was gone.

    It's not that our kids "could never do that." It's that the conduct in many cases is suspect at best and frequently the punishment doesn't fit the crime. The way the administrators handle it would make the KGB blush. It is entirely fair as a parent to question what is happening and why.
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