Plagiarism: High School Vs. College


Samantha Martin, Social Media/Business Manager

Plagiarism and cheating have become a norm for high school students. If one gets caught, the consequences could hurt that student, but are the consequences as important compared to what could happen to a college student? Are high schools preparing students for how much plagiarizing could hurt them in college? 

The Lake Havasu High School handbook states that the first time a student cheats or plagiarizes, they will get six hours of detention and no credit for the assignment. 

If this occurs four times, the student will be removed from the class and will not receive a credit. This can hurt a student by putting them behind because they are now missing a credit. They can also get in school suspension (ISS) for the second offense and out of school suspension (OSS) for the third time. Even though there are set rules and consequences, some teachers do not follow through on the punishments. 

There are some teachers who have gotten into the habit of giving one too many warnings. “My freshman year these two boys were cheating off of each other, the teacher caught them and all they had to do was re-do the assignment. They didn’t get detention or get in trouble at all,” said senior Adi Beckman. 

Even though teachers here at LHHS make it their goal to see their students succeed and pass their class, these warnings could possibly hurt students in the long run. A teacher’s job is not only to educate their students on their prefered curriculum, but also teach life skills as well. When these young adults aren’t held accountable for their mistakes, they don’t have to face their consequences and are more likely to make that same mistake in the future. 

In colleges, like the University of Arizona, there is a system where professors submit their students essays online, and it will check for even the slightest similarities amongst the other essay submissions. University of Arizona student and LHHS 2018 graduate, Alyssa Privett said that if you get caught plagiarizing it could lead a student to academic probation and it will be added onto their permanent record. Basically, the student could be kicked out of college, losing any scholarships or grants they may have previously earned. The consequences are extremely serious in college compared to high school where you might just have to face redoing an assignment. So, are high schools really doing enough to prepare students for college?