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High School Cheating Scandal Sparks National Dialogue

The parent of a Sequoia High student is suing the school district for dropping his son from an honors class for cheating on homework.

The pressure on high school students to achieve great things in order to get into a top college is immense, and scoring high in advanced placement classes is almost mandatory. But with high-pressure academics comes high standards. So when four students in an honors English class at  in Redwood City copied and shared homework, the consequences were swift and serious.

As reported last week in the San Jose Mercury News  the four students accused of cheating were transferred to a lower level class, which prompted the father of one of the boys, Jack Berghouse, to file a lawsuit against the saying his son's rights were violated.

The lawsuit has outraged many who say students should face the consequences of their actions. Others support Berghouse's suit because they feel his son's future will be harmed by possibly not getting admitted to an Ivy League school. 

What has ensued has been an outpouring of opinion on the topic of the real lesson being taught here--what's more important, learning to do the right thing, or doing everything necessary to get into the best college?

Tell us in the comments whether you think this father's lawsuit is warranted. 

Bill Baker April 30, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Interesting lawsuit. The MercuryNews article states that Berghouse admits his son copied English homework from another student who also got kicked out of the honors program. Berghouse's son and wife signed an "Academic Honesty Pledge" at the start of this school year declaring that cheating was grounds for immediate dismissal form the honors program. However, there is another school document, acknowledged by the school district's superintendent, that says the student will be removed from the honors program only after a 2nd offense. The school claims they should have updated their old "two-strikes" policy but didn't. Oh, Oh. Looks like the bureaucrats who run the school screwed up. I think that the Berghouse lawsuit does have merit and the boy's due process rights were violated. Let him back in the honors class and expunge this incident from the boy's record if he does not commit a 2nd offense during his remaining high school years. It's fair to say that the boy has learned some very valuable lessons from this incident and is probably a better person for having gone through this.
MARK April 30, 2012 at 05:12 AM
MR BERGHOUSE YOUR SON WAS CAUGHT CHEATING,INSTEAD OF SUEING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT TRYING TEACHING HIM SOME VALUES,ABOUT ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILTY FOR HIS ACTIONS,DROP THE LAW SUIT AND MOVE ON.
Tess May 01, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Even if the son has learned his leason and is a better person, the dad is still the same dad and what will he sue for next? The Academic Honesty Pledge should trump an older policy and every other person who signed the Pledge knows this. Good luck to whatever schools gets stuck with this family!
Austin Choi May 02, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Seriously? The son got caught cheating and his father is suing? If I was caught cheating back in high school, my dad would've thanked the teacher(s) and made darn sure I wouldn't dare do it again.
Doug Radtke May 04, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I remember my economics professor at UC Riverside had a student who plagarized his final paper. This person is now is the California state assembly. I guess this kid can always go for a political career.

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