At Roncalli, like many other schools, copying is a problem.
In almost every course, a student or a group of students copy
homework and assignments from other students or copy pages from
the Internet for language reports without giving credit.
They are passing it in as their own work and that affects
their grades. Teachers find it hard and
frustrating when they correct work because they must ask themselves,"Did
this student do his or her own work?"
Aurele Beaupre is a senior high language teacher. When students
pass in assignments or reports he knows that at least a few of
them have plagiarizing.
"Students who take someone else's information from the
Internet and claim it as their own is not only plagiarizing,
but committing a crime," he said.
To combat this problem, Beaupre asks students to pass in references
including HTTP addresses for websites they've visited.
"This is necessary so that teachers can look up these
references and ensure they are giving credit where credit is
due," Beaupre said
Janet Olmstead, a senior high math teacher, has had to fail
students for copying complete assignments and homework.
"I find it frustrating when students submit work that
is not their own. It is important to identify areas that the
students struggle with, but when students copy, you are misled
into believing they know their material," she said.
"It is difficult to completely stop students from copying,
from a teacher's perspective. It has to come from the students
- they have to want to do their personal best," said Olmstead.
As principal of Roncalli Central High, Mazie House is troubled
by how many students copy.
"The greatest tragedy of students copying is that the
teacher believes the students know their work, and doesn't offer
extra help because they think the student already knows the work,"
"Teachers can be vigilant when correcting but only the
students can really change the way they work. They have to realize
what this costs them in terms of their leaning. Only by doing
their own work can they improve."
Two students, who wish to remain anonymous, said the reason
students copy is that "they're too lazy" and "they
copy because they have other homework and we can't do everything
at the same time."
Should teachers have stricter punishments for copying assignments
and homework? Is the overload of homework really the problem?
One thing is for sure, this has to stop. Students are denying
themselves their education and a chance to learn.