• Cheating student not allowed to walk with graduating class

    Date: 06.08.09 | by Judge Tom.

    Kristen Reno, an 18 year old senior at Jeffersonville High School in Indiana was prohibited from attending her graduation ceremony on Saturday as a consequence of her admitted cheating.

    Kristen admitted to having another student alter her grades in the school’s computer system.  The student who altered the grades was expelled from school.  Kristen was given the opportunity to retake the exam, but she chose not to do so. 

    Photo by Adrian Sampson

    The school did not give her credit for the geometry class, but since Kristen had enough credits to graduate without the geometry credits, she was given her general diploma.  Had she received the credits for the class, she would have received a higher diploma known as a Core 40 diploma in the school district.

    Kristen appealed the school board’s decision not allowing her to walk with her class.  But the judge agreed with the school board that participation in a graduation ceremony is a privilege and not a right.

    What do you think?  Was the penalty too harsh or too lenient in this case?  Should Kristen have been able to walk with her class?  Or was she lucky to not have been expelled from school?

    Survey:  In an October, 2010 study from the Josephson Institute of Ethics in California, 60% of students said they had cheated on a test, and 34% did so twice or more. The study involved 43,321 students from 100 public and private schools. For more about this study, see here.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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