Accusations of academic misconduct in Wyoming high schools can cost more than an afternoon in detention. Students who are accused of academic misconduct may see their grade point averages suffer and their chances of getting into their preferred colleges thrown away.
What Does Wyoming Consider to be High School Academic Misconduct?
Each high school operating in Wyoming establishes its own understanding of academic misconduct in its student handbook. That said, there are common points among each of these that serve to provide both students and their families with an understanding of what high schools might classify as academic misconduct, should such behaviors be reported. These behaviors can include:
- Seeking out unapproved aid on an exam
- Using unauthorized learning aids
- Sharing the answers to a quiz, exam, or another assignment without permission
- Submitting work under another student's name
- Bribing another student to complete work under a false name
- Defacing learning materials
Plagiarism, in particular, is considered a suspendable offense, especially if the student accused of this behavior has an existing disciplinary record. That said, many students are still learning what it means to plagiarize while they are in high school.
The Wyoming State Board of Education defines plagiarism as consisting of:
- The direct use of another person's thoughts, written words, or ideas as one's own.
- The inappropriate citation of another party's thoughts, ideas, data, or other original property.
- The act of paraphrasing another person's thoughts, written words, or ideas and passing that rewritten work off as one's own.
That said, a school's definition of plagiarism can also include self-plagiarism. With that in mind, students are discouraged from using excerpts from assignments they've submitted in other classes as part of assignments for unrelated courses. Similarly, students may not submit assignments completed for other teachers to supervisors in unrelated courses without attending parties' permission.
On College Board Exams
High school students in Wyoming have the opportunity, in their junior and senior year, to take exams such as the ACT, SAT, and PSAT to secure acceptance into the college of their choice. However, there are specific guidelines in place surrounding these exams designed to discourage academic dishonesty.
Students who wish to take AP exams, SAT, or PSAT must not:
- Use unapproved materials while studying for or taking a College Board exam.
- Distribute the answers to the College Board exam without express permission.
- Collaborate on a College Board exam.
- Bribe another student to take a College Board exam in their place or otherwise offer to complete an exam on behalf of another student.
If a student is accused of committing any of the above or related behaviors, then they may face consequences established both by a representative from their high school and a representative from the College Board.
How Do High School Authorities Respond to Perceived Academic Misconduct?
Each high school in Wyoming elaborates on the steps teachers, students, and other supervisory staff should respond to accusations of academic misconduct. In most cases, a student can expect the reporting body to take the following steps:
Reporting the Incident
The party who wishes to accuse a student of academic misconduct must bring their accusation to the attention of the high school's administration before taking action on their own. Bodies that can report believed academic misconduct include:
- Substitute teachers
- Other supervisory bodies
- Other students
Noting the Incident on a Disciplinary Record
Students accused of academic misconduct or other unwarranted behaviors within their high school will warrant a disciplinary record. Should a student be accused of academic misconduct, that accusation will be noted on their disciplinary record along with any consequences that student faces.
Students and their families can see a student's disciplinary record cleared provided that they make a case against the student's accusation.
Consulting with the Assistant Principal
If the student in question has a pre-existing disciplinary record, or if the accusation in question appears to be especially serious, then the reporting body may wish to consult with the assistant principal regarding what consequences may best suit the situation. In these cases, the assistant principal has the option to reach out to the school board for guidance or to implement consequences of their own.
What Are The Consequences for High School Academic Misconduct?
The consequences for high school academic misconduct in Wyoming will vary based on the severity of the misconduct the student in question is accused of. These consequences, either assigned by the appropriate teacher or a high school administrator, can include:
- Failing grade for the course in question, if applicable – if the student has been accused of plagiarism or otherwise compromising their academic integrity within a specific course, then the teacher or other supervisory body in charge of that course may award the student a failing grade for the assignment in question or for the course as a whole. The student, in turn, may be barred from dropping this course.
- Suspension from school – if the student has a pre-existing disciplinary record, or if the misconduct in question seems severe, the supervisory body in question may recommend that the student be suspended from school. It is up to the assistant principal, however, and bodies in similar positions to determine if this degree of consequence is appropriate.
- Expulsion – if the student in question has an extensive record of academic misconduct accusations, then the high school's administrative body may choose to suspend that student for the whole of a quarter or semester. In some cases, the administration may deem it fit to expel a student from school entirely based on their disciplinary history.
How Can You Respond to Accusations of High School Academic Misconduct?
Students leveled with accusations of academic misconduct can feel alone, especially if they're not sure how best to proceed. That's why Joseph Lento offers to help students and families who aren't sure what their next steps should be.
Students and their families who wish to discuss an accusation of high school academic misconduct may reach out to the Lento Law Firm by calling 888-535-3686 or by filling out an online contact link.
Wyoming 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:
- Albany County School District Number 1
- Big Horn County School District Number 1
- Big Horn County School District Number 2
- Big Horn County School District Number 3
- Big Horn County School District Number 4
- Campbell County School District Number 1
- Carbon County School District Number 1
- Carbon County School District Number 2
- Converse County School District Number 1
- Converse County School District Number 2
- Crook County School District Number 1
- Fremont County School District Number 1
- Fremont County School District Number 2
- Fremont County School District Number 6
- Fremont County School District Number 14
- Fremont County School District Number 21
- Fremont County School District Number 24
- Fremont County School District Number 25
- Fremont County School District Number 38
- Goshen County School District Number 1
- Hot Springs County School District Number 1
- Johnson County School District Number 1
- Laramie County School District 1
- Laramie County School District Number 2
- Lincoln County School District Number 1
- Lincoln County School District Number 2
- Natrona County School District 1
- Niobrara County School District Number 1
- Park County School District Number 1
- Park County School District Number 6
- Park County School District Number 16
- Platte County School District Number 1
- Platte County School District Number 2
- Sheridan County School District Number 1
- Sheridan County School District Number 2
- Sheridan County School District Number 3
- Sublette County School District Number 1
- Sublette County School District Number 9
- Sweetwater County School District Number 1
- Sweetwater County School District Number 2
- Teton County School District Number 1
- Uinta County School District Number 1
- Uinta County School District Number 4
- Uinta County School District Number 6
- Washakie County School District Number 1
- Washakie County School District Number 2
- Weston County School District Number 1
- Weston County School District Number 7
It is critical to make certain academic misconduct charges at your child's Wyoming 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 Wyoming 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.