What do you see in the world(school board)

May 25, 2009
By Alice Zhang BRONZE, Herndon, Virginia
Alice Zhang BRONZE, Herndon, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

When you look into the eyes of the world, do you see truthfulness, or lies? What a brilliant kansas teacher saw in her students, were absolute lies. Pelton shows that by using a simple tool she can see if her students plagiarized or not. She created simple rules for the students to follow by, and the students used tricks to avoid it. They pressured their parents in standing up for them and they agreed. The school board leaders said that the parents were right. What they didn’t understand was that in a way, the teacher was helping them realize that copying from someone else was plagiarism. They showed themselves dishonest and that when they grow up, they may not be as good a person if they hadn’t copied from sources to complete their homework.

Pelton expected her students to be honorable and produce their own work with their own effort. As she graded the papers, she noticed that some phrases were not what they would write in real life. When she asked, the students said they didn’t know what the phrases meant. But if they wrote it, shouldn’t they understand what they wrote “themselves”? This here already shows that these students can’t be trusted.

When using Turnitin.com, a useful engine that shows if a student copied from an online source, Pelton noticed that many students used online sources. When asked again, a student said yes but showed that since he split it in two sentences, it couldn’t be plagiarizing. By being sneaky, it only showed that he couldn’t be trusted.

The school board members were fools to let the plagiarizing students receive a higher score. The teacher taught a life lesson to always do your own work yourself. If the students grew up and decided to become an author, what would happen when the editor paused to look at the submission and realized the whole thing came from a work of Shakespeare? The author will get fired and be known for his/her plagiarism.

It really was not the teacher’s teachable moment that was missed, but the school board’s. If they had known better, surely there would be some more justice in this world. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing” (Albert Schweitzer). The teacher tried to show the right path to the road of Truth, but the students refused to do so. Years later, the students will regret having not listened and then they will realize that the teacher was in fact helping them. But of all, it was truly the school board that missed a teachable moment.

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