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SSC

Plagiarism

Lowell English Department

 

A Statement on Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of taking the words of another person and using them as one’s own. This includes copying words or ideas from a book, magazine or other print source, downloading material from the Internet and copying work from another student. In the last case, both the student who does the copying and the student who allows the copying are equally guilty.

Plagiarism impedes a writer’s development of the many essential skills that comprise the writing process. Plagiarism is also unfair to the vast majority of Lowell students who work honestly and diligently to produce their own work. Lowell is a merit-based, competitive-entry school. Students who remain at Lowell by cheating thus deprive other students of a fair and honest chance to enter the school.

Writing skills drive the work students do at the university level and form a crucial component of most, if not all, professional jobs. Teaching students how to write effectively is thus one of the primary objectives of Lowell’s English classes. To accomplish this objective, we stress the importance of writing as a process. Good writing does not emerge perfectly formed from the pen or printer after one quick draft. Good writing is crafted: developed, organized, refined, revised, edited and then revised and edited again, using appropriate citations where needed.

With the growing popularity of the Internet, plagiarism has become more of a problem at Lowell. As educators, we feel a moral and ethical obligation to do our part to maintain rigorous academic standards. We cannot accomplish this goal alone, however, and require the support of the entire school community to succeed.

We believe the following:

  • Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, unacceptable at Lowell.
  • Students who plagiarize must be punished to the fullest extent of the school’s policies, including suspension for repeat offenses.
  • We need the support of the entire Lowell community — students, teachers, administrators, counselors, deans and especially parents — to ensure an honest academic environment at the school.

 

* All students enrolled in Honors and AP are to practice strict academic honesty.  If a student is found to have plagiarized--even once--they will be removed from the program and placed in regular English. 

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

The school’s purpose is the fostering of academic excellence. An essential element in a climate of learning is intellectual honesty. Cheating is incompatible with the Lowell philosophy. To this end, the first rule of the school shall be:

Cheating in any form is unacceptable behavior.

Neither pressure for grades, inadequate time to complete an assignment, tests not adequately proctored, nor unrealistic parental expectations justify cheating. Cheating places the value of grades over learning and runs counter to our philosophy.

The dictionary defines cheating as acting dishonestly, practicing fraud.

A school definition includes offering the words and ideas of another as one’s own without giving credit to the originator. Lending work and ideas to another is cheating. Changing or attempting to change a mark on a report card or other school document is the most serious form of cheating.

The teacher’s professional judgment determines whether cheating has occurred.

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACADEMIC HONESTY

Teachers, parents and students must understand, accept, and share responsibilities if this policy is to be effective.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

The student will

  • set aside sufficient time to study
  • participate actively in class and attend regularly
  • protect work--do not lend or borrow homework observe test time limits
  • not look at another test or allow his or her test to be seen
  • not talk during a test or about the test until all classes have had a chance to take it
  • not represent as his own the work of a parent, brother, sister, or anyone else
  • not change a test item in any way when the testis returned for review
  • not allow one member of a team to do the whole task
  • learn how to attribute work properly by citation, footnote, and bibliography

PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES

The parent will

  • communicate to the child values of moral and ethical behavior
  • refrain from placing undue pressure for high grades
  • be aware of a student’s need for a quiet time a place for study
  • support the student’s efforts, but not edit, type, or in any other way do the work
  • encourage wise use of time

TEACHER RESPONSIBILITIES

The teacher will

  • make the classroom policy known to all students
  • be specific as to whether work is to be cooperative or individual
  • prepare students for tests and test on test days
  • inform students if unannounced tests will be used in the  course
  • carefully proctor tests so as not to tempt the weak
  • secure grade book and mark documents so that grades are private and safe
  • by precept and concept support these ethical commitments

CONSEQUENCES

The consequences of cheating are the following:

Change of grade on an official document.

A parent conference will be scheduled.

The student will be suspended 1 to 5 days (SFUSD Student and Parent/Guardian Handbook). The principal will request that the student be removed from Lowell depending upon the circumstances.

 

Cheating on test or homework:

First Instance:

The student will receive an “F” on the assignment or test.

The teacher will confer with the student and notify the parent of the incident and its consequences.

A referral will be placed in the student’s permanent file.

 

Second Instance:

As listed in the first instance and one or more of the following:

A conference will be scheduled with administrator, parent, teacher, and student.

The semester mark will be lowered by one full letter grade.

The student will be dropped from the course with a grade of “F”.

The student will be suspended 1 to 5 days (SFUSD Student and Parent/Guardian Handbook).

 

Subsequent Instances:

As listed in the first instance and one or more of the following:

A conference will be scheduled with administrator, parent, teacher, and student.

The student will be dropped from the course with a grade of “F”.

The student will be suspended 1 to 5 days (SFUSD Student and Parent/Guardian Handbook).

The principal will request that the student be removed from Lowell depending upon the circumstances.

 

(Thanks and credit are due Palo Alto High School whose academic honesty policy provided a foundation upon which this policy is built.)