Student who received ‘F’ for allegedly cheating on test sues school district

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RENTON — Parents of a high school student have sued the Renton School District after the district refused to overturn a “F” grade the girl received on a chemistry test after she was allegedly caught cheating.

According to documents filed in King County Superior Court, the Lindbergh High School student sued the district after a disciplinary committee decided not to retract the failing grade. However, they did overturn the girl’s one day detention sentence.

The student is not seeking any damages, but simply asks the school overturn the “F”  test grade she received in June.

Parents of the unnamed student allege the girl was never caught cheating, but simply found with study materials in her purse.

According to the Seattle P.I., the girl was given a  failing grade after the teacher assumed she was using a crib sheet when she was found carrying notes and a pencil pouch in her purse that was easily accessible during the test.

Rather than accept the punishment, the girl appealed to the Lindbergh principal, and later to the school board. At a Sept. 11 meeting between all parties, the school board decided to uphold the failing grade rather than remove it from the student’s record.

“After careful review, the Council finds that the final grade submitted by the teacher, with the reduction for the academic infraction, is upheld by a preponderance of the evidence submitted by the teacher and the Lindbergh High School administration,” the school board wrote on Sept. 23. “The Council, however, invalidates the one day detention for discipline and directs that the detention be removed from the discipline record.”

State law allows parents or students to ask the superior court to review disciplinary actions, the P.I. reports. Grades are not typically subject to appeal.

A preliminary hearing date for the suit has not been set.

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6 comments

  • Michael

    Just have her take the test again. If she knows the material, she should be fine. If not, then there must be grounds for possible cheating in the first place.

  • Aunt Alice

    I was given a failing grade on a spelling test when I was in 2nd grade because a book (I didn’t realize until after that it was my spelling book) was poking me from out of my desk and I glanced down long enough to push it back in. The teacher’s assistant thought I was cheating, even though I always aced my spelling tests. It obviously upset me enough that I still remember it, but I moved on.

    Even at that young age I wondered why they didn’t just give me a re-test. It never would have occurred to me at any age to sue the school for such a thing. I think suing the schools for doing this or that that a student doesn’t like or agree with is a dangerous thing and is going to cause all kinds of problems.

  • John McCabe

    I went to Lindbergh and took Chemistry, the teacher is a really relaxed guy but takes testing very seriously, the girl didnt follow the rules so she was punished.