Yesterday was Monday and it actually wasn’t bad. Clearly it was just waiting for today.
I had a plagiarist this semester. This is not a shock. I usually have at least two that get turned in to the Honor Council for violations. Irritating but par for the course, as it were.
What I don’t usually have (have NEVER had), is parents getting involved. This student’s father went toe to toe with the head of the Honor Council over the charge (which was irrefutable–I don’t turn them in without evidence). Kid accepted responsibility for the violation.
I now find myself in a position of having to meet with parent and kid. Wait, what? Why does a parent show up to talk to their kid’s COLLEGE INSTRUCTOR? Do they think they can strong arm me out of my principles and demand some kind of do over? I have no idea as nobody will say what this meeting is about.
I won’t back down. I’m in the right, and there is no place at the college level for parental interference, particularly when the student is so clearly in the wrong. I’m betting Daddy doesn’t know his kid hasn’t done six of the assignments. Or that the student never bothered to access the information explaining what plagiarism IS (or that I can print a report that proves it–I love technology). Or that student signed a contract agreeing to my terms:
- You will read the entire syllabus the first week and ask questions of anything you do not understand.
- You will print and keep a copy of both the syllabus and course calendar (which lists every single due date all semester) during the first week of class.
- You will complete your assignments on time.
- You will ask questions about any course material you do not understand.
- If you have a problem, you will not wait until the last minute to contact me about it.
- You will not violate the Academic Honesty Code.
- You will be a responsible adult.
- You will treat both me and your classmates with respect and earn the same in return.
- You will make both a plan and back-up plan for obtaining internet access in order to take this online class. No excuses.
At this point, the kid has violated at least six of the terms agreed to.
I have my stack of detailed course materials all printed out nice and neat to hand over to Daddy, along with the signed contract, and detailed reports showing what his kid has accessed, when, and for how long.
I expect this to go one of two ways. Either he is going to realize his kid is in the wrong and not been telling him the whole truth and will back down. Or he’s going to try to strong arm me into giving the kid an opportunity to make up those 6 assignments kid didn’t do (I won’t), call me unreasonable, unprofessional, and determine to go over my head to the dean. All while teaching his kid complete lack of respect for authority and further reinforcing that kid does not have to display any autonomy or adult characteristics because Daddy will charge in and try to fix it. Judging from this kid’s inability to function as an adult so far, I’m expecting door number two.
Think I’ll be cracking open a bottle of wine to go with dinner tonight.