Since COVID-19 has taken control over the entire world, most schools have switched to online learning for the long-haul. But online learning, while safer, has come with its own set of challenges – namely cheating. In another article, we discussed how cheating had gone up 8% in just the first two months of lockdown in 2020.
The United Kingdom published an article in late February 2021, reporting that the country was trying to ban the operation of essay mills – businesses that, for a fee, create original essays for students. Many universities, including the University of Cambridge in England, refer to essay mills as a form of contract cheating; as such, it falls under academic misconduct. Universities have specific codes of conduct the students must abide by, and any violation can land them with a failing grade, suspension, or, in some cases, even expulsion.
It's Not the Students Fault
Some institutions in the UK believe that the essay mills are more at fault than the students. Many department heads stated that the students' easy prey for essay mills. They are challenged by time zone issues, isolation, and internet connectivity issues, as well as not having enough support from their teachers and staff as they would have in person, making them easy prey for essay mills.
Consequences for Cheating in this Way
In the United States, all students, whether they are in secondary school or college, are presented with a code of conduct. Now, every school's code of conduct will vary, but at their core, they are promises the school and students make to one another. One of these promises is that the student will not engage in cheating of any kind. Having someone else write their assignment is cheating – even if it feels like a grey area.
If you or someone you love has been accused of cheating, the consequences can have lasting effects. Being accused of cheating affects not only your reputation, but the act of cheating and its subsequent punishment also become permanent marks on your record. Whenever you apply to a position or graduate school that requires transcripts, this incident will be exposed and require explanation.
How an Attorney Can Help
Unfortunately, many institutions drop the ball when exploring cheating allegations. There are specific due process rights you or your child are owed, but the school often lets the accused student slip through the crack after deciding on their punishment. Many parents are unaware of the rights the school district owes their child, making it difficult to appeal decisions.
Having a skilled attorney on your side from the moment the school accuses your child will ensure the school upholds your child's rights. Attorneys act as student advisors, collecting evidence and speaking with the disciplinary board on your behalf. If you are found to have committed academic misconduct, an attorney advisor will mitigate the consequences. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has worked with thousands of students accused of cheating across the United States to ensure they can present their sides of the story in strategic ways to obtain the best possible outcome. Call 888.535.3686 today to schedule a consultation.