High School Academic Misconduct Attorney Advisor - Vermont

Getting through high school is challenging on its own. Getting accused of academic misconduct can not only make a student's life more difficult in the moment, but it can impact their ability to go to college and get the career they want later in life.

High schools expect honesty of their students and impose significant penalties on those parties who don't choose to appeal potentially-incorrect accusations. Students and families who don't know what rights they have available to them, in turn, may not be able to protect a student's future for sheer unavailability of resources.

Lento Law Firm and Joseph Lento can help students and families address academic misconduct accusations for the sake of the involved student's future.

Academic Misconduct in Vermont High Schools

While there is no statewide understanding of academic misconduct in Vermont, some categories of behavior seem to garner universal disapproval. Should a student be accused of engaging in these behaviors, they may face consequences of varying degrees of severity. These behaviors can include:

Using Unapproved Materials on Exams

Exams are the lifeblood of high school. While some teachers may allow students to use notes on an exam, each student must abide by the rules set forth within their individual classrooms. Any student caught using unapproved materials on an exam may face the consequences as dictated not only by their teachers but as outlined in each high school's individual student handbook. Similar results can fall to students who:

  • Procure exam answers without the permission of a supervisory body.
  • Pay or bribe another student or body to provide them with the answers to an exam.
  • Pay or bribe another student to submit an exam under their name.
  • Using unauthorized resources, including online resources, or receiving unauthorized assistance during the exam

Students may also be accused of academic misconduct if it appears they were using unapproved materials while taking a college board exam, including the ACT, SAT, or PSAT. In these cases, consequences will fall both to attending supervisory bodies and to the College Board.

Addressing Plagiarism

No high school operating within the state of Vermont tolerates student plagiarism. While each high school includes its own definition of plagiarism in its student handbook, the term most often covers incidents including:

  • The use of another party's thoughts or data as one's own or without appropriate citation.
  • Paraphrasing another party's thoughts, data, code, or otherwise using another party's work as a template for one's own without proper citation or permission.
  • Inappropriate citations.

This can include self-plagiarism. Self-plagiarism sees a student use any materials submitted to another class as part of an assignment for a different class. Self -plagiarism can consist of a total reuse of a student's existing content—for example, if a student turns in the same paper for English class in two different years. But even if a student uses only part of a previous assignment in a new one, they can face accusations if the borrowed content is not cited correctly or approved by the teacher.

A School's Response to Academic Misconduct

Just as each high school's understanding of academic misconduct differs, so too do the high schools in Vermont have different responses to accusations. Most will address academic misconduct accusations by taking the individual student's record into account. Consequences, however, can include:

Teacher-Mandated Consequences

Suppose a student does not have a previous record of academic misconduct accusations. In that case, the teacher who believes that student to have engaged in misconduct may choose to address the situation in the classroom. That said, most teachers will still be expected to fill out an academic misconduct form with their administration to note the situation as they believe it occurred, though there is no statewide policy dictating that this must be the case.

In these cases, students may receive a failing grade for the assignment in question or for the entirety of their class. Students may also be barred from dropping the course in question after their failing grade is submitted. This can negatively impact the student's GPA, making it more difficult for them to apply to college or for academic scholarships.

In-School Consequences

While a teacher or other supervisory body may award a student a failing grade if said student is accused of academic misconduct, the school, too, may choose to issue additional punishments based on the student's existing record. These punishments can include in-school suspensions, extracurricular suspensions, and expulsions.

Revocation of a College Acceptance

A college acceptance does not guarantee a student's ability to attend the university of their choice. If a student is accused of academic misconduct and chooses not to appeal the accusation, then a university may choose to revoke a student's acceptance. While a student may have the opportunity to apply to the university of their choice later down the line, misconduct can make it much more difficult for them to get re-accepted.

Denial of Scholarships

Even if a student retains their acceptance to the university of their choice, third-party institutions may choose to revoke a student's scholarship offer pending an academic misconduct accusation. If this happens, a student may appeal the accusation while also requesting that the third-party institution take their appeal into account. However, the lack of this financial support can make it much more difficult for the student to make it through their first semester of college without significant financial hardship.

Working with an Academic Integrity Attorney-Advisor

Accusations of academic misconduct in Vermont can make a student's life difficult for years after they've left high school. Luckily, students and their families have the option to fight accusations of academic misconduct. No family, however, has to try and present their defense to a Vermont school board on their own. Instead, families and students can reach out to attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm. With help from an academic integrity attorney-advisor, families can better understand what options their student has and how best they can secure that student's future.

Students and families who want to schedule a case consultation with the Lento Law Firm can call 888-535-3686 or fill out our online contact form.

Vermont 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:


  • Addison Rutland Supervisory Union
  • Addison School District
  • Albany School District
  • Alburg School District
  • Arlington School District
  • Athens/Grafton Contract School District


  • Bakersfield School District
  • Barnard School District
  • Barnet School District
  • Barre City School District
  • Barre Supervisory District
  • Barre Town School District
  • Barstow Joint Contract District
  • Barton Id School District
  • Battenkill Valley S.U.
  • Bell