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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | FULLERTON

School District Sets Down Penalties for Cheating

April 30, 1998|MIMI KO CRUZ

An academic honesty policy outlining the consequences for cheating students has been adopted by the Fullerton School District and will take effect in the fall.

Children in grades four through six caught cheating for the first three times will face penalties, including lost credit on affected assignments, and their parents will be notified. On their fourth offense, they could face a two-day suspension, and their parents will be called for a conference with the teacher and principal.

Older students face stiffer penalties. Seventh- and eighth-graders caught cheating for the third time will serve a two-day suspension, receive an unsatisfactory mark for citizenship and meet with a school official. Additional offenses will result in further disciplinary action.

Trustee Anthony M. Valla said cheating has become a problem, especially in junior high and high schools. "It's a shame that we have to even consider an academic honesty policy, but [cheating] simply is rampant in this area," he said.

Trustee Kim Ann Guth, who cast the only dissenting vote on the policy, said: "I disagree that cheating has taken over in Fullerton schools. . . . Teachers are not allowing flagrant cheating."

Teachers opposed the policy, saying it threatened to take away their discretion to discipline in the classroom. The school board agreed to review the policy after it's implemented.

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