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My son was found guilty of a Honor Code violation at his…

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My son was found...

My son was found guilty of a Honor Code violation at his college. He has been suspended for one semester. Is there any basis of appealing this decision based on the fact this is his first offense ever and he is academically doing very well. He plagiarised a paper on a homework assignment.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the school located? And is it a public or private institution?

William and Mary. Virginia public

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you spoken to a local attorney or school administrator? What is your ideal outcome for this situation?

That he be given disciplinary probation and not be suspended

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

He is a typical kind with a good reputation except he made a very bad decision. We just don't want this one instance of stupidity to define him

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Education Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/20/2017
Education lawyer: Legal Eagle, Education lawyer replied 10 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Education lawyer
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,094
Experience: Extensive education law experience
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Education lawyer: Legal Eagle, Education lawyer replied 10 months ago

Thank you very much for your patience. In a prior life I was a conduct officer For a private university. I was in charge of hundreds of hearings regarding plagiarism from students. So, I think that I might be able to help you understand a little bit about what to expect. Generally, a first instance of plagiarism is not going to call somebody some significant academic harm. most of the time, depending on the circumstances of whether it was intentional or accidental, the faculty and the disciplinary officers at the school are often going to want to see the student do what they can to make changes to how they research and how they find their information. The idea is to avoid them ever having to do it again. The fact that he has a good reputation and made one bad decision will usually play well in his favor. Usually, if somebody has multiple instances of misconduct both academic and non-academic, then the likelihood that they're going to represent the university very well that's going to be low and it is likely that they would end up expelling the student. Usually, probation is almost always the outcome in these kinds of situations. What I would probably recommend for your son is that he explained some of the things that he's done on his own to try to rectify the situation. This means that he should probably set up a meeting with a librarian to help figure out how to properly research his topics, he may also want to consider Reviewing any resources like the Purdue OWL to figure out how to properly cite his sources as well. I have reason to believe that he is going to be just fine. .Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
He had a conduct hearing on Monday and was suspended for the semester. My question would be if this could be successfully appealed because of the fact it was his first and only violation and he has no other disciplinary issues and is doing well academically
Education lawyer: Legal Eagle, Education lawyer replied 10 months ago

I think it could be appealed. Generally, a person can appeal if the severity of the punishment did not fit the infraction. What he may lose from a first instance of plagiarism may not send the message that plagiarism is unacceptable, but rather send the message that any mistakes made would have ultra serious consequences, which is not often the reality of life after college. He may need to check to ensure that the school has a process to appeal and if they accept his appeal, make his case. What other questions did you have for me?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Would it be worth our time and expense to pursue appealing the decision and requesting a lesser munition such a disciplinary probation
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
punishment not munition
Education lawyer: Legal Eagle, Education lawyer replied 10 months ago

Yes, I believe it will. A semester suspension was probably made as an emotional decision, but not based on any objective criteria in my experience. Usually, committees who deliver such harsh punishments to students on their first offense are usually taking the offense personally rather than deciding on the merits.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
He actually committed a Level III plagiarism offense by basically rewording the papering just adding his name to it. But by no means, does he not now or then know that what he did was wrong and that he should have to incur some form of punishment. We just feel that this is really extreme for the first time and the fact he has no other issues for the previous 3 years of college
Education lawyer: Legal Eagle, Education lawyer replied 10 months ago

I agree with you. I think that if he submits an appeal, it'd be worth his time. Now that at least some time has passed, they may be able to look things over with a fresh perspective and have a new committee review his situation.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Is this specific for a particular college or is this just in general? William and Mary's Honor Code is very specific and based on what he did, they believe this decision was leniency on their part.
Education lawyer: Legal Eagle, Education lawyer replied 10 months ago

Well, most judicial officers at colleges across the country tend to try to apply the rules uniformly, with some exceptions of course. I can't speak for W&M because I don't work there, but I"ve dealt with hundreds of similar cases and was a part of the national association for conduct officers for a few years so I have a pretty good idea of what they're thinking. If they think it was lenient, that may be a problem, but it may still be worth the effort for him to appeal and get them to reconsinder the harm that they're doing.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
They did not use the term lenient, but use these words specifically, "Although the panel took into
consideration the good character of Jamison, the panel deemed it insufficient to deviate
from the Presumptive Initial Sanction of suspension.
Taking into consideration these factors, the panel assigns a sanction of suspension"
Education lawyer: Legal Eagle, Education lawyer replied 10 months ago

I see what you mean. It's good that they took it into consideration, but I would have them maybe look a little bit more deeply into prior decisions and determine if it's consistent with what they've done otherwise. You may also explain to them that doing this may end up putting him further behind and not necessarily teaching the lesson that is to be learned which is the interest, purpose, and goal of the University.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Would the sanctions be considered extreme based on a first time offense, although consistent with the Honor Code's rules?
Education lawyer: Legal Eagle, Education lawyer replied 10 months ago

Well, even if it is consistent, it still could be considered extreme. Basically, your son is going to have to really make his case to convince them that what they did was wrong. Because they work for a university that has a sterling academic reputation, it's going to be very important that he tried to appeal to their senses Educators in his people and even his parents in reversing their decision.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Can we continue our conversation over the phone aroun 730 pm
Education lawyer: Legal Eagle, Education lawyer replied 10 months ago

Sure thing. I should be online, but if not, I am on each day.

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