Making a permanent impression since 1994
September 19, 2005
Bristol bans cheating in school
By Stefan Koski
“We need students to
understand that we’ll take a stand on this,” said Deputy Superintendent of
Bristol Schools Susan Moreau, who drafted the anti-cheating policy after it was
brought to her attention by a
The new policy defines
“cheating” as “the use of unacknowledged materials, information, or other
tools to accomplish an academic assignment, test or project.”
It also defines
“plagiarism” as “the representation of ideas or words as one’s own in
any academic exercise,” which can include an improper or lack of a source
When asked why cheating
had become more prevalent in today’s schools, Moreau said, “It’s become
more commonplace with cell phones.”
Students who cheat can
use cell phones to send text messages to each other to ask for answers during
quizzes and tests.
The new policy strictly
forbids the classroom of cell phones, pagers, Palm Pilots, or any other
electronic device that uses wireless communication to send pictures or text
without the prior approval of the instructor.
The policy also outlines the possible
disciplinary actions that the administrators may take against first and
The consequence “varies from reprimand
and parent contact to suspension,” said Moreau. “Obviously if it is someone
in kindergarten or grade school we’re going to use it as a learning
opportunity. They don’t even really know what cheating is – all they know is
that someone else has the answers and they want them.”
But, she added, the students in high
school who are using devices such as cell phones to cheat can have penalties as
harsh as detention and suspension.
The policy reads: “Consistency of
consequences is important in sending a clear message to students that cheating
and/or plagiarism will not be tolerated.”
At least some students said they approve
of the new policy.
“I think it's good to have,” said
Faraz Abbas, a 14-year-old freshman at
While cheating had been happening
"since school started,” Abbas said, “it's just a few people who want to
get things done."
“I've never seen really seen anybody
cheating,” said 14-year-old Mitchell Harkey, a freshman at
“People work hard to do well and if
you're cheating you don't have to do anything,” said Harkey.
According to Harkey, the administration
isn't being too forward about discussing the new policy with students.
“They basically said if they caught you
cheating, they'd rip up your paper and stuff,” said Harkey.
Students must understand that cheating
“is unacceptable in the academic setting,” said Moreau.
“We have expectations from them,” said Moreau.
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