A Matter of Honor Case Study

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Summary of the Case The case under review occurred in the city of Newton against a backdrop of economic decline, political disenchantment, and a widening racial divide. A Newton High School senior,Sheila Allison, is accused by her teacher of plagiarizing a book review. Mrs. Durnitz, the teacher, reported to the school principal that Sheila admitted to taking material from the web but claimed she did not know that doing so constituted plagiarism. The district’s policy states that students found guilty of plagiarism must receive a failing grade and repeat the course. Mrs. Durnitz feels that Sheila, having a copy of the student handbook in which plagiarism is discussed, should have known that what she did violated the policy. The teacher also believes that the policy, drafted by the teachers who teach honors classes and approved by the administration, must be followed to the letter despite any extenuating circumstances. Sheila, a good student who is popular and athletic, received a congressional appointment to a national military academy. She is the first African American at Newton High School to receive such an honor. The town has publicized this fact widely throughout the community. Should Sheila receive a failing grade in her honors English class, she may lose this prestigious appointment. The ramifications for the district—should this occur—will most likely be both political and legal. The superintendent and principal are stymied in their efforts to reach a compromise as Mrs. Durnitz refuses to change her position that the policy must be followed to the letter. She appealed to the teachers’ association for support when it appeared that the administration and board might not uphold her position. The local newspap... ... middle of paper ... ...t era: A wake up call. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Martinez, S. (2009). A system gone berserk: How are zero-tolerance policies really …..affecting schools? Preventing School Failure, 53(3), 153-157. Retrieved from …..http://search.proquest.com.ezproxylocal.library.nova.edu/docview/228530113?acco…..untid=6579 Protheroe, N. (2011). What effective principals do? Principal, 90(5), 26-30. Retrieved …..from www.naesp.org Strom, P., & Strom, R. (2007). Cheating in middle school and high school. Educational …..Forum,71(2), 104-116. doi:10.1080/00131720708984924 Thomas, D. A. (2004). How educators can more effectively understand and combat the …..plagiarism epidemic. Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, (2), …..421-430. Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com.ezproxylocal.library.nova. …..edu/hottopics/lnacademic/?verb=sr&csi=167098
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