This year, I am seriously thinking about adopting what would truly be a no-tolerance policy for cheating. If I can get the approval of my principal (and that's pretty iffy!), and if I have the guts to go through with it, any student that I catch cheating in any way—eyeballing on a quiz, copying an assignment, using a cheat sheet, you name it—will get an F for the marking period.
My policy in the past has been to give cheaters a zero for whatever it was that they were caught cheating on, but I'm convinced that's not enough. What's a zero on one assignment or quiz when you've gotten away with it ten or twenty times? Cheating has become a part of student culture in schools throughout the nation, and I'm convinced that part of the reason is that we are too lenient.
The threat of false accusations and negative parent reactions has Fermoyle second-guessing his all-or-nothing stance.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.