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Student Caught Cheating at Sequoia High School

Original post made by Parent on Apr 26, 2012

The parents of a sophomore at Sequoia High School in Redwood City have sued the district for kicking the student out of an honors English class last month for copying a classmate's homework.

The lawsuit, filed April 18 in San Mateo County Superior Court, claims the teenager's due process rights were violated. It names as defendants the Sequoia Union High School District, District Superintendent James Lianides and Sequoia High School Principal Bonnie Hansen.

The sophomore had signed an "Academic Honesty Pledge" at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year that declares cheating is grounds for immediate removal from the advanced-level program; his mother also had signed it.

Web Link

Comments (7)

Posted by Mom, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2012 at 6:35 am

The Academic Honesty pledge signed by the boy and his mother states that there will be no cheating, and that the penalty is removal from the class with no exceptions. He acknowledges copying someone else's homework.
I hope that the district follows the stated policy, and does not make an exception for a cheater with shameless parents.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Apr 27, 2012 at 7:29 am

Hmmmm..parents suing school for kicking son out of school for cheating..wonder where the kid learned he could get away with cheating?

Hang tough, school.


Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

I just heard on the radio that the Daddy is a lawyer - surprise, surprise. And he is working hard to ensure special treatment for his student. I have heard the school district has already compromised by agreeing to not list the transgression on the kid's transcript. Still, they have removed the kid from the specific class for this year. And - Daddy is still negotiating and suing.
This does worry me in that it may mean that if take a kid, from a non-lawyer family, then you don't have parent(s) who are willing/capable to try to intimidate the school district, then the penalty would stand; whereas if your parent(s) ARE lawyers you end up with an advantage.
None of this speaks to right and wrong, which sadly seems to get lost in the situation.
I suppose some lawyer families would do the right thing and have the kid take his punishment, but from what I have seen in PAUSD I am not sure...


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I echo the sentiments in these comments. I worked hard in my honors classes & never cheated. What a waste of money this lawsuit may prove to be. The kid's rights were violated? What about the rights of all the non-cheating students? It may be interesting to see what they're able to prove, on both sides.

On the lighter side, this reminds me of a lot of old lawyer jokes...


Posted by crime and punishment, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm

neighbor -
easy ways to be sure - search for - egg wars. (example).
Palo Alto High principle apparently lost her job, then, for having kids of families who could afford lawyers bearing some consequences. Same consequences as one might expect East Palo Alto student would have beard, should acted same way.


Posted by devil's advocate, a resident of Community Center
on May 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm

You know, there are different kinds of cheating. Copying homework is a LOT different than, say, cheating on a test. Lots of students do homework together, is that copying? It seems to me that removal from the class is too harsh a penalty for this offense.


Posted by Izzy, a resident of another community
on May 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

The judge ruled yesterday this cheating kid can't return to the class.

"There is 'no dispute that plaintiff (student) did in fact cheat,' (San Mateo County Superior Court judge George Miram) ruling states.

"'Plaintiffs' claim of comparative harm further ignores the significance of proven cheating on the student and upon the integrity of the educational institution in its entirety,' Miram wrote."

Web Link

Hopefully they will drop this before a trial... What a waste of money when they could be spending money on other things rather than lawsuits!


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