Accused of Sabotage In School? Here’s What to Do Next

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 03, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you look closely at your academic integrity code, you'll likely find that your school prohibits plagiarism, cheating, and unauthorized collaboration.

You might have expected these. They're the most common academic misconduct violations.

Scrolling further through that code of conduct might lead you to lesser-known infractions. For example, your school could include sabotage in its list of punishable behaviors.

Sabotage sounds intense. It can be. Dramatically destroying a peer's capstone project moments before it's due is one example of sabotage. Tampering with delicate lab work to obfuscate results is another.

However, there are far sneakier examples of sabotage. Some are so subtle that students can be allegedly responsible for sabotage without knowing it.

Examples of Collegiate Sabotage

Academic sabotage involves getting in the way of another person's progress. Generally, for a school to find a student responsible for sabotage and recommend sanctions, there will need to be some indication that the sabotage was deliberate.

Some examples of student academic sabotage include:

  • Destroying the work of another student
  • Destroying, defacing, or stealing university property (e.g., library materials or classroom resources)
  • Changing data about another student's performance
  • Tampering with another student's assignments before submission
  • Deleting or removing information from common spaces (e.g., online databases) so that other students can't access it
  • Failing to contribute to a group effort adequately enough
  • Holding back pertinent information from others
  • Telling other people confidential information about a peer's project
  • Changing a specific setup that another student has created (e.g., messing with an in-progress experiment)
  • Installing spyware or viruses on another student's computer

As you can see, sabotage can involve very intentional actions, ones with relatively clear motives and plans.

You can also get involved with sabotage by accidentally bumping into a lab table, deleting something you think is no longer necessary, or simply being unaware that another student has set up an experiment right next to your workstation.

In a high-pressure, high-stakes, even directly competitive college environment, you can assume that emotions are running high. Whether you performed an action that interfered with another student's progress or not, receiving a suspension for sabotage can happen more quickly than you think. Just an accusation can come with a high cost.

Even if your actions were an accident (or the allegation itself the result of a misunderstanding), future employers and admissions boards will take one look at ‘sabotage' on your disciplinary record and decide not to offer you life-changing opportunities.

You can't let that happen.

Here's How an Attorney Can Help

When you're scrambling to figure out the best way to respond to a sabotage allegation, you need an experienced defense advisor to help you make the most strategic decisions possible.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has spent years supporting students as they navigate misconduct allegations, sanctions, and more. He and his expert team can help you pull together a strong defense and negotiate with your school so you can pursue a favorable outcome for yourself and your future. Call 888-535-3686 or contact us online for more information!

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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