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An Issue of Plagiarism at School

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In response to a recent news article, the following is a position in favor of Christine Pelton, a teacher protesting the school board for ordering an easement of punishment after 28 of her students plagueised their assessment. Because the school leaders and rural Kansas district agreed with Pelton, the teacher felt so strongly about the subject that she resigned, and because it opens the door for future cheating being dismissed, Pelton should not have been ordered to “go easier” on the plagiarising students.

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In today’s society, plagiarism is becoming an easier and easier task for students to accomplish. The internet will provide instant essays for almost every topic you can imagine. For this reason, it is even a more important to put down any effort to cheat at a whim of suspicion. If this school had not taken the subject seriously enough to at least give them a zero for the assignment, not only will this schools students feel more inclined to plagiarise, but also other schools that see a precedent of parents being able to get their kids out of situations at school.

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Another obvious reason is the backing that Pelton had in her decision. It was not like she simply went out on a limb and failed the students out of suspicion of them cheating, she went to her principal and superintendent, both her direct bosses, and both agreed the students deserved a zero on the assignment. Not until parents complained did the school board call for a lighter punishment. Parents do not have any authority in how the school actually makes decisions, and since Pelton had support from her bosses, she should have been backed by the school board.

Many people would also agree with Pelton, especially after reading this article, that a “national decline in integrity” is occurring in our country. Because Pelton felt so strongly about this position, enough to resign from her job, makes it quite obvious that it is not a small issue that can be solved by a single teacher. In order for the problem Pelton describes to be eliminated, everyone has to be on the side of the integral, not the side of dishonesty and plagiarism. Consequently, the school board should have declined the parents requests and simply made the students retake the class they had failed by cheating their way through a project.

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New ideas do not spark from old revelations. Society needs not build on the work of others, it needs to create its own innovations and revelations. In such a society that treats work being stolen and reused as our own, as it does in this example, nothing extraordinary will be produced for the next generation. Let’s not have our innovations be “marred with obvious suppressions”, let’s support our teachers trying to teach kids a lesson about the real world, and not let parents complaints ruin society as a whole.

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