Academic integrity: If you look at the mission statement of your student's South Carolina high school, you'll probably find that your school takes its job seriously. In order to help your student and every member of its academic community in the best way possible, your child's school has to have high standards.
This also means that your high school has to take appropriate and swift action when students fail to meet those standards or breaks rules. Academic misconduct in all of its forms, including cheating, plagiarism, bribery, or even classroom disruption, can result in harsh consequences for your child.
If your South Carolina high school student stands accused of academic misconduct, it's vital that you work hard to protect their rights. This can be confusing, intimidating, and even scary. After all, your child's academic reputation is on the line.
Hiring an experienced legal team to assist with your student's defense is the best way that you can take proactive steps to protect your child.
South Carolina High School Academic Misconduct: What Actions Qualify?
The types of infractions that South Carolina schools categorize as academic misconduct generally fall into a few categories. If your student does anything to disrupt their peers' educational experience or give themselves an unfair advantage over their peers, they may be guilty of misconduct.
For example, according to one South Carolina school's code of conduct, the following actions may constitute academic misconduct:
- Cheating: Whether your student copies someone else's work and submits it under their own name, shares test answers, uses unauthorized references, or takes more time than given for an assignment, your SC school may not be happy with this behavior. Many schools consider cheating a severely punishable offense.
- Plagiarism: In any case where your student uses another person's words or ideas as their own without proper reference or citation, your student plagiarizes. Unfortunately, it is very easy to plagiarize accidentally. Impressing upon your student the extreme importance of proper citations is the best way to keep your student's actions aboveboard in this way.
- Falsification: If your child submits work that is untrue (for example, if your child makes up scientific results that veer in their favor or creates a fake bibliography), your student could be liable for disciplinary action.
- Unauthorized Assistance or Collaboration: If your child receives assistance or works with other students on an assignment or exam without express approval, your child can be charged with either of these common charges.
There are other types of misconduct. The specifically prohibited behaviors and your school's due process procedures will vary by school.
What Your SC High School Student Can Expert in an Academic Misconduct Investigation
Your first source of information regarding your school's adjudication process should be your school's code of conduct. Using one South Carolina high school's code of conduct as an example, you may be able to expect any of the following steps:
- A written notification from your school regarding the specifics of the incident
- An informal call with your child's teacher
- A meeting with your school's administration
- A formal investigation into the specifics of the alleged misconduct
- A formal hearing with your student's school officials
The Potential Penalties for Academic Misconduct in South Carolina
It's natural to wonder what the repercussions of your student's misconduct may be. The specific list of consequences will vary from school to school, so it's best to check with your student's handbook or your school's code of conduct. Generally, the severity of the alleged offense will influence the severity of the punishment.
Some schools may recommend restorative measures geared to help your student move past the incident. These may include therapy, community service, or education about the infraction (e.g., a training on avoiding plagiarism in the future).
However, other schools may decide to mete out more harsh punishments, particularly if your student is guilty of recurring misconduct. Probation, suspension, and expulsion are common methods of student discipline. In addition, it's important to remember that having academic misconduct on your student's record may make it more difficult to apply to scholarships and further academic opportunities in the future.
If you and your student feel that the punishment your school recommends does not fit the crime, you should have a chance to formally appeal your school's decision. A top-tier legal team can help you discern your path forward to best support your student's success.
The Benefits of Working With an Experienced South Carolina Student Defense Advisor
If this is your first brush with your school's disciplinary system, you might be surprised at how quickly your school seems to turn against you. While you're figuring out paperwork, deadlines, meetings, and the other ins and outs of due process, it can be very helpful to have a knowledgeable, empathetic advisor at your side.
Different school districts and counties within South Carolina adjudicate academic misconduct very differently. Your advisor will have varied, comprehensive experience with the myriad ways your school may proceed. This means that your advisor will be able to figure out the most strategic method for your student's defense.
Your advisor will be able to assist with many actions during your student's academic misconduct case, including:
- Preparing superior statements
- Filing all relevant paperwork
- Representing your student aggressively at all meetings
- Helping you understand your choices
- Strategizing your family's best defense
- Analyzing all evidence in your child's case
When you're struggling to figure out how best to support your student, you shouldn't have to figure out how to do all of that on your own. Instead, turn to a strong legal team with years of experience defending students nationwide.
Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have spent years successfully managing cases for students, supporting families through investigations, tough adjudications, and more. No matter what your student's case requires, Joseph D. Lento will provide thorough representation and defense. He's helped thousands of students protect their rights and their futures. He can do the same for you and your family - whether you live in Horry, Orangeburg, Berkeley county, or beyond.
South Carolina 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:
- Abbeville School District
- Aiken County Public School District
- Allendale School District
- Anderson School District One
- Anderson 2
- Anderson 3
- Anderson 4
- Anderson School District Five
- Bamberg 1
- Bamberg 2
- Barnwell 19
- Barnwell 45
- Beaufort County School District
- Berkeley County School District
- Calhoun School District
- Charleston County School District
- Cherokee School District
- Chester School District
- Chesterfield School District
- Clarendon 1
- Clarendon 2
- Clarendon 3
- Clover School District
- Colleton School District
- Darlington County School District
- Dillon 1
- Dillon 2
- Dillon 3
- Dorchester School District Two
- Dorchester 4
- Edgefield School District
- Fairfield School District
- Florence Public School District One
- Florence 2
- Florence 3
- Florence 4
- Florence 5
- Fort Mill Schools
- Georgetown County School District
- Greenville County School District
- Greenwood School District 50
- Greenwood 51
- Greenwood 52
- Hampton 1
- Hampton 2
- Horry County Schools
- Jasper School District
- Kershaw County School District
- Lancaster County School District
- Laurens 55
- Laurens 56
- Lee School District
- Lexington School District One
- Lexington 2
- Lexington 3
- Lexington 4
- District 5 of Lexington and Richland Counties
- Marion 1
- Marion 7
- Marlboro School District
- McCormick School District
- Mullins School District
- Newberry School District
- School District of Oconee County
- Orangeburg Consolidated 3
- Orangeburg Consolidated 4
- Orangeburg Consolidated 5
- School District of Pickens County
- Richland County School District One
- Richland School District Two
- Rock Hill Schools - York County District 3
- Saluda School District
- Spartanburg County School District 1
- Spartanburg School District 2
- Spartanburg County School District 3
- Spartanburg County School District 4
- Spartanburg County School District 5
- Spartanburg County School District 6
- Spartanburg County School District 7
- Union School District
- Williamsburg School District
- Williston School District 29
- York School District 1
It is critical to make certain academic misconduct charges at your child's South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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.