Mixed reactions from parents after 'mass cheating' incidents at Alamo Heights HS

128 students involved in 2 separate cheating situations

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter

ALAMO HEIGHTS, Texas - Two mass cheating incidents are overwhelming Alamo Heights High School. 128 students are involved.

An email sent to parents this week, said 38 juniors in U.S. History and 90 freshman in English 1 violated academic integrity rules the week before Thanksgiving break.

Parents have mixed reactions about how the school handled the situation. 

One mom didn't want her identity revealed, but told KSAT that her freshman daughter is one of the 90 who cheated on a homework assignment for English class.

"They were supposed to do the packet for their homework, and one of the kids found it online, found the answers online and pretty much sent it out to everyone else," she said.

She received an email from teachers after it happened explaining the violations included:

  • Seeking, obtaining, and/or utilizing an online teacher resource meant only for teacher use
  • Paraphrasing or direct copying online study aids and answer keys
  • Direct copying of a peer's response

By the time the email came, she already knew. Her daughter called from school and admitted to plagiarizing. 

"It was a big ordeal, but I think the response could have been a little bit quicker, and I think I should have heard about it from the school instead of the kids. I emailed the teacher back the day I got the email, and it took two days to get a response," the mother said.

Alamo Heights HS letter regarding cheating students.pdf by David Ibanez on Scribd

In an email sent this week, school principal Dr. Cordell Jones mentioned the delay, saying: "The groups of students affected were larger than anticipated, which inhibited our communication with parents as efficiently and effectively as we would have wanted."

Freshman parent Cynthia Rodriguez felt differently, and said she's happy with how administrators have handled the enormous situation.

"I was well informed, so it was OK. I like the idea that the district sent out the email and the principal commented on it," she said.

Student punishment have already started, with extracurricular activities. As of November 29, students are suspended from sports games or competitions for three weeks. 

The district said nothing permanent will result on student transcripts or academic records; however there are other consequences listed for violating the school's academic integrity policy.

Those possible consequences are:

  • Dismissal of the charge 
  • Warning 
  • Parent contact 
  • Reduced grade for the assignment 
  • Forfeiture of reassessment privileges 
  • No credit for the assignment 
  • "U" (unsatisfactory) conduct grade for nine weeks 
  • Discipline referral 
  • Referral to campus honor societies (Student Council/National Honor Society) 

A representative from Alamo Heights ISD did not answer any questions Thursday night regarding what academic punishment the students will face. She said she would be able to elaborate further Friday.

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