Plagiarism - unauthorized collaboration - abuse of school materials - cheating.
If you're like most parents, these are words and phrases that you glossed over in your student's high school intake paperwork or vaguely remember hearing during a parent orientation briefing. They're certainly not terms that you ever imagined coming into closer contact with.
Now that your student faces accusations of academic misconduct, you may be scrambling to figure out what's going on with your child. What did they do to deserve these allegations? What's going to happen next? Is there anything that you can do to shield them from any undue consequences of what they may have done?
Mississippi high schools tend to punish instances of academic misconduct quite harshly. Since this is the case, it's vital that you jump into action to protect your child's rights. Otherwise, they may end up with a lifetime of ramifications that could destroy their currently-bright future.
What is Academic Misconduct in Mississippi High Schools?
‘Academic misconduct' is an umbrella term that can mean many different things. As such, it's a good idea to turn to your school's code of conduct - or your child's student handbook. (You can likely find links to both documents on your school's website.)
Your school's code of conduct is a lengthy, dense document that contains expectations regarding your student's relationship with your school. It will outline the definitions of unwanted behavior - as well as the actions that your school will take in the event of a student infraction.
One Mississippi high school's code of conduct tells us that some common forms of academic misconduct may include:
- Plagiarism - or the act of using another's thoughts or words as your own. Plagiarism can be direct or accidental; unfortunately, many schools will punish plagiarism harshly, even if it's an accident.
- Unauthorized Collaboration - or working on assignments with the help of others (and without the teacher's consent)
- Cheating - or any action in which a student gives themselves an unfair advantage over their peers in an academic setting
Depending on your specific school, there may be many other activities that your school deems punishable as academic misconduct. Since this is the case, it's vital to work with an advisor who knows how to interpret codes of conduct to hold your school accountable to its specific rules.
What Happens After a Mississippi High School Academic Misconduct Investigation?
Your school's response to your child's alleged infraction will depend upon the severity of the allegations. Your school's code of conduct will contain suggested tiers of procedures - ranging from a simple meeting with your child's teacher all the way to a thorough investigation of misconduct and hearing before a panel of school officials.
At the end of your student's disciplinary process, your school will recommend punitive actions. Depending on your school’s practices, you may be able to expect the following disciplinary actions:
- Education regarding their offense (e.g., anti-plagiarism training)
- A failing grade for the assignment in question
- A failing grade for the course in question
- Expulsion, if the infraction was truly severe (or repeated)
When Should You Hire a Mississippi Student Defense Advisor?
When you and your child first learn that they face academic misconduct allegations at their Mississippi high school, you may wonder: Is this really so important? Am I just blowing this out of proportion by seeking an attorney's help? Will this really have long-lasting repercussions on my child's future?
Yes, no, and yes.
It can be very easy to justify letting your school's punitive system slide, even if you think they're being too sloppy about your student's academic misconduct proceedings. However, it's important to remember that the consequences listed above are only the beginning of what could happen as a result of your student's alleged infractions.
When your student applies to future academic institutions, scholarship opportunities, or even jobs, having a record of academic misconduct on their permanent record will do them no favors. They may lose out on opportunities they might have won otherwise.
Making sure that your child has all of the benefits you've worked hard to give them starts now - by making sure that your school is fully accountable to your child.
It's time to hire a knowledgeable Mississippi student defense advisor if:
- Your student faces consequences that are out of line with their activity
- Your school doesn't follow its own procedures for discipline
- Your child is innocent
- Your child is scared about their future
- Your child believes that their school has ignored their rights
A student defense legal advisor can also make your experience during your student's due process a lot less overwhelming. They'll have the skills and contacts necessary to help you draft accurate, effective documents and represent you at upcoming meetings.
For yourself and your child, your best course of action is to find and hire a clever, capable student defense advisor near you.
Joseph D. Lento is a Mississippi Student Defense Advisor Ready to Fight
If this is your student's first brush with your school's disciplinary system, it can be easy to get very overwhelmed - very quickly. Suddenly, there will be scary-sounding documents sent to your home, and your calendar will fill up with appointments you'd much rather avoid.
Having an empathetic, experienced advisor to guide you through the disciplinary system and be on your side can make the entire experience a lot better. At the Lento Law Firm, that's precisely what we offer.
Joseph D. Lento has spent years defending students all across Mississippi in their academic misconduct investigations. Whether your school opts to adjudicate your student's case formally or informally, you'll have the tools you need to succeed when you work with Joseph D. Lento. He'll put together a strategic defense for your child's innocence, represent you aggressively if necessary, and use his expertise to guide you through any investigations or hearings that could arise.
To ensure a fair process and favorable outcome for your Mississippi high school student, work with Joseph D. Lento during your upcoming academic misconduct proceedings. To learn more about student defense in Mississippi, contact the Lento Law Firm online or call 888-535-3686 today.
Mississippi 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:
- Aberdeen School District
- Alcorn School District
- Amite County School District
- Amory School District
- Attala County School District
- Baldwyn School District
- Bay St. Louis-Waveland School District
- Benoit School District
- Benton County School District
- Biloxi Public School District
- Booneville School District
- Brookhaven School District
- Calhoun County School District
- Canton Public School District
- Carroll County School District
- Chickasaw County School District
- Choctaw County School District
- Claiborne County School District
- Clarksdale Municipal School District
- Clay County School District
- Cleveland School District
- Clinton Public School District
- Coahoma County School District
- Coffeeville School District
- Columbia School District
- Columbus Municipal School District
- Copiah County School District
- Corinth School District
- Covington County School District
- DeSoto County School District
- Drew School District
- Durant Public School District
- East Jasper School District
- East Tallahatchie School District
- Enterprise School District
- Forest Municipal School District
- Forrest County School District
- Franklin County School District
- George County School District
- Greene County School District
- Greenville Public School District
- Greenwood Public School District
- Grenada School District
- Gulfport School District
- Hancock County School District
- Harrison County School District
- Hattiesburg Public School District
- Hazlehurst City School District
- Hinds County School District
- Hollandale School District
- Holly Springs School District
- Holmes County School District
- Houston School District
- Humphreys County School District
- Indianola School District
- Itawamba County School District
- Jackson County School District
- Jackson Public School District
- Jefferson County School District
- Jefferson Davis County School District
- Jones County School District
- Kemper County School District
- Kosciusko School District
- Lafayette County School District
- Lamar County School District
- Lauderdale County School District
- Laurel School District
- Lawrence County School District
- Leake County School District
- Lee County School District
- Leflore County School District
- Leland School District
- Lincoln County School District
- Long Beach School District
- Louisville Municipal School District
- Lowndes County School District
- Lumberton Public School District
- Madison County School District
- Marion County School District
- Marshall County School District
- McComb School District
- Meridian Public School District
- Monroe County School District
- Montgomery County School District
- Moss Point School District
- Mound Bayou Public School District
- Natchez-Adams School District
- Neshoba County School District
- Nettleton School District
- New Albany School District
- Newton County School District
- Newton Municipal School District
- North Bolivar School District
- North Panola School District
- North Pike School District
- North Tippah School District
- Noxubee County School District
- Ocean Springs School District
- Okolona Municipal Separate School District
- Oktibbeha County School District
- Oxford School District
- Pascagoula School District
- Pass Christian School District
- Pearl Public School District
- Pearl River County School District
- Perry County School District
- Petal School District
- Philadelphia Public School District
- Picayune School District
- Pontotoc City School District
- Pontotoc County School District
- Poplarville School District
- Prentiss County School District
- Quitman County School District
- Quitman School District
- Rankin County School District
- Richton School District
- Scott County School District
- Senatobia Municipal School District
- Shaw School District
- Simpson County School District
- Smith County School District
- South Delta School District
- South Panola School District
- South Pike School District
- South Tippah School District
- Starkville School District
- Stone County School District
- Sunflower County School District
- Tate County School District
- Tishomingo County School District
- Tunica County School District
- Tupelo Public School District
- Union County School District
- Union Public School District
- Vicksburg-Warren School District
- Walthall County School District
- Water Valley School District
- Wayne County School District
- Webster County School District
- West Bolivar School District
- West Jasper School District
- West Point School District
- West Tallahatchie School District
- Western Line School District
- Wilkinson County School District
- Winona Separate School District
- Yazoo City Municipal School District
- Yazoo County School District
It is critical to make certain academic misconduct charges at your child's Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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.