High school is one of the more exciting, yet challenging, phases of a teen's life. Whether it's taking on new responsibilities, navigating social circles, or planning for college, teens can now make essential decisions for the first time without supervision.
Many students breeze through their academic responsibilities with ease. Others find it challenging to keep up and become overwhelmed with their course load. Although teens are no strangers to impulsive actions, some mistakes are costlier than others, like engaging in academic misconduct.
If a high school student faces academic misconduct charges in Delaware, it impedes their chances of going to college. Besides college, even high school administrations are cracking down on cheating, which means stricter penalties and possibly, expulsion – even for an honest mistake.
If your teen is facing academic misconduct allegations in Delaware, you must act swiftly to minimize damage. The more robust and comprehensive your child's defense strategy is, the less likely that school administrations will single them out for disproportionate punishment. With the help of an advisor, the chances of the latter happening decrease significantly.
Explaining Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct isn't just cheating off a test. It is a term that encompasses all actions that use dishonesty to gain an academic advantage over other students or impede their progress. Nowadays, students use multiple avenues to cheat, from apps to offshore essay mills. As a result, educators find it challenging to control cheating unless they use intrusive software and third-party platforms to enforce testing transparency.
Since academic misconduct is a broad term, some of the most common examples of it include:
- Cheating on a test or quiz using notes or electronic devices
- Helping another student cheat or asking someone to assist in cheating
- Asking an unauthorized person to complete homework
- Using unauthorized material to complete assigned tasks
- Using another person's work without citing sources
- Deceiving professor by editing submitted work and asking for a re-grade
- Forming cheating rings with other students
- Uploading prohibited material to third-party apps and websites
- Taking pictures of quizzes and exams and distributing them to other students
- Cheating on Advanced Placement or College Board tests
- Falsifying records, certifications, test scores, and correspondence
- Sabotaging correspondence, information, or material belonging to the school
- Fabricating data and information on assignments
- Paying an essay mill to write one's essays or complete homework assignments
- Preventing other students from accessing information or material
Although some of the above actions are not enough to expel or suspend a student, multiple violations can seal a student's fate, especially if the impact is widespread or severe.
Repercussions and Penalties
Teens engaging in academic misconduct rarely understand the implications of their actions. The risk of failure for some is scarier than the risk of getting caught. Unfortunately, repercussions can be path-altering, especially if your teen has a scholarship or is part of honor societies and school clubs.
Minor or First Violation
For first-time offenders or minor violations, the school administration's goal is to warn the student. Some of the more common ways administrations address the infractions include:
- Receiving a zero on the assignment, test, or quiz
- The teacher notifies the administration and parents
- Not giving the student a chance to make up for the test or retake it
- Morning or after-school detention
- Attending Saturday school
- Report of conduct stays on permanent record
- Removal from the opportunity to be on school Hall of Fame or Honors programs
Major or Multiple Violations
Major or repeated violations come with graver implications, some of which are permanent. For example, at Delaware Valley Regional High School, multiple academic misconduct violations incur a notation on the student’s academic transcript. Other ways that schools handle these cases include:
- Failing the course
- Revoking privileges
- Disqualification of scholarships
- Repeating a grade
- Modification of class schedule with school counselors
- Permanent removal from school
Repeating a grade, expulsion, and loss of scholarships damage your child's reputation and future progress. Colleges and prestigious universities are less likely to accept students who have misconduct blemishes on their permanent record. Moreover, they'll have a hard time filing for grants or financial scholarships to pursue their education if they have a cheating record.
Your teen's chances of successfully overcoming an academic misconduct charge lie in their defense strategy. While the process may not involve a hearing or panel, your teen still needs to present evidence that disproves the allegations.
With an attorney-advisor like Joseph D. Lento by your side, the process becomes easier to manage. An advisor also increases your teen's confidence by prevention hawkish interrogation strategies from intimidating them.
Defending allegations means gathering strong evidence, witness statements, and challenging inconsistencies in the school's procedure. Having a copy of the school's policy is an excellent place to start. You will understand the method they use and recognize if there are deviations.
Although you can face the process alone, the guidance of an advisor who deals with hundreds of similar cases every year improves your chances of a favorable resolution.
As a parent, you have hopes and dreams for your teen's future – which can come crashing down when you receive notice of a misconduct charge. A mistake or lapse in judgment should not have a permanent effect on your child's academic success, especially at such a young age.
Call the Lento Law Firm
While schools should protect their campuses from misconduct, your teen should not suffer due to an administration's overzealous attempts to curb cheating.
With years of experience defending students in Delaware and across the country from academic misconduct allegations, your family is in capable hands with attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm. Don't let a teacher or school administration bully your child and ruin their future. Advisor Lento scrutinizes every process and procedure to ensure that your teen receives fair treatment at all stages of an investigation, hearing, or appeal.
Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your teen's academic misconduct case and the steps you can take to avoid harsh penalties.
Delaware high schools where Joseph D. Lento can help as your child's student's academic misconduct advisor during investigations, hearings and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following school districts:
- Appoquinimink School District
- Academy of Dover Charter School
- Brandywine School District
- Caesar Rodney School District
- Campus Community Charter School
- Cape Henlopen School District
- Capital School District
- Charter School of Wilmington
- Christina School District
- Colonial School District
- Delmar School District
- East Side Charter School
- Family Foundations Academy
- Gateway Lab School
- Indian River School District
- Kuumba Academy Charter School
- Lake Forest School District
- Las Americas Aspira Academy
- Laurel School District
- Milford School District
- MOT Charter School
- Moyer (Maurice J.) Academy
- New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District
- Newark Charter School
- Odyssey Charter School
- Pencader Business and Finance Charter High School
- POLYTECH School District
- Positive Outcomes Charter School
- Prestige Academy
- Providence Creek Academy Charter School
- Reach Academy for Girls
- Red Clay Consolidated School District
- Seaford School District
- Smyrna School District
- Sussex Academy Of Arts And Sciences
- Sussex Technical School District
- Thomas A. Edison Charter School
- Woodbridge School District
It is critical to make certain academic misconduct charges at your child's Delaware high school are handled properly and that the accused student's interests and rights are protected from as early as possible during the investigative and disciplinary process. One reason, among many, is because even at high schools where a finding of responsibility for academic misconduct is made at a hearing, the investigation will set the stage for what the hearing panel is provided prior to a hearing (and what the hearing panel will in large part rely on at a hearing), and at high schools where the finding of responsibility is made solely through the investigative process, what takes place during the investigation itself will determine whether the accused student is found responsible or not responsible for academic misconduct.
Unfortunately, some parents make the mistake of not taking the necessary precautions as soon as possible when their child is accused of academic misconduct. Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their school will be fair and impartial and will arrive at the truth. In a perfect world this may be the case, but in a perfect world, being called to answer for alleged academic misconduct would not exist.
Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at schools throughout the nation for many years, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an accused high school student's academic future is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as an academic misconduct advisor to high school students facing investigations and disciplinary cases in Delaware and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National High School Academic Misconduct Defense Attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.