Is this even legal?!?

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Latest post 06-21-2012 8:51 PM by DPH. 13 replies.
  • 06-20-2012 6:37 PM

    Is this even legal?!?

    A friend of mine, out of excitement for her grade, took a picture of a test grade she received.  She was reported by another student for taking a picture of the test, and later questioned about the incident.  She willingly admitted to her offense and offered up her phone for the instructor to see the picture.  The picture had no test questions or answers in it.  It was only a picture of the circled '92' that the instructor wrote in the corner of her paper.  Disciplinary action was still taken, in which she agreed to with the understanding of what she had done wrong.  Luckily, she was not expelled from the program, however, she was given a grade of '0' on her final exam for the class which she is still two weeks away from taking.  I can understand receiving a '0' for the test that she took the picture of, but is it even legal for them to give her a '0' for a test that she will not take for another two weeks?!?

     

    As the final exam counts 20% of our average, she would have to have a 100 average going into in.  We are halfway through the semester, have taken four tests already, and only have three tests left before the final.  She now has a 93 test average, and an 85 daily average, so it is absolutely impossible for her to pull a 100 average going into the final.  They have basically set her up for failure.

  • 06-20-2012 6:44 PM In reply to

    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    When you enroll in a school you agree to the school's policies.

    If there is nothing in a statute or in the student's contract with the school (yes, she has a contract even if she doesn't realize it) that prohibits that policy then she is stuck with the consequences of what she did even if the rest of the world thinks the school's response was stupid.

    She would be wise to consult an attorney about this. Schools are often vulnerable to pressure brought by attorneys.

    Sure, it'll cost her money. But if the attorney can get the school to back off from the punishment, it'll be worth it.

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  • 06-20-2012 7:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    Is this a public or private school?

  • 06-20-2012 7:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    This is a public community college...school of practical nursing.

  • 06-20-2012 9:41 PM In reply to

    • LG81
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    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    soontobenurse:
    Disciplinary action was still taken, in which she agreed to with the understanding of what she had done wrong. 

    The school will have outlines how to appeal a discplinary action, but I don't see anything illegal here.  This may be a hard lesson for both your friend and you about taking pictures, being aware of what school policies are, being aware of what future employers' policies are, and the need to use good judgement.

    It is normal to be proud of earning a good grade or doing well on a test.  These days, however, it seems that many are quick to take pictures of eveything so that they can post them on their walls or timelines.  There are many times when it's not a good idea.  When you're doing your practicum or later working as a nurse, never, ever take persponal pictures of patients.  Even if the employer does not have a stated policy about doing so, it is very poor judgement.  I remember a relatively recent post where someone who worked in a doctor's office took a picture of a celebrity (it was actually the celebrity's grandmother who was the patient), but the poster was fired for using poor judgement. 

     

  • 06-20-2012 10:16 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    soontobenurse:
    Disciplinary action was still taken, in which she agreed to with the understanding of what she had done wrong. 

    What rule or policy, exactly, did she violate?  Is it stated definitively somewhere that a student is not allowed to take a photo image of a test under any circumstances?  Do they return graded tests to students and then pick them up never to be seen again?  Are tests never allowed to leave the premises or something?

    There must be something missing from the story.

    soontobenurse:
    she would have to have a 100 average going into in

    soontobenurse:
    so it is absolutely impossible for her to pull a 100 average going into the final.
     

    What are you trying to say?  Are you saying that there is no way for her to pass the course unless she has a 100 average after the 7th test? 

     

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 06-20-2012 10:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    DPH:
    What are you trying to say?  Are you saying that there is no way for her to pass the course unless she has a 100 average after the 7th test?

    Pretty much.  Nursing schools set "passing" at 80 or 85.  Some competitive programs set it even higher.  So a student who doesn't achieve that score or better is considered to have failed that course.  When a punishment like this is handed down it almost virtually guarantees that the student fails the class because mathematically there is no way to achieve the passing score.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 06-21-2012 3:35 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    ClydesMom:

    DPH:
    What are you trying to say?  Are you saying that there is no way for her to pass the course unless she has a 100 average after the 7th test?

    Pretty much.  Nursing schools set "passing" at 80 or 85.  Some competitive programs set it even higher.  So a student who doesn't achieve that score or better is considered to have failed that course.  When a punishment like this is handed down it almost virtually guarantees that the student fails the class because mathematically there is no way to achieve the passing score.

    That's kind of what I figured she was trying to say.  What I don't understand is what kind of rule or policy could have been violated.  Is it common practice to retain graded tests, never to be seen again or to leave the premises? 

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 06-21-2012 3:43 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    The punishment seems a bit out of line if the story is as you present it--but her basic remedies are the internal appeals process and it the institution upholds the "0" that that is sort of the end of the road as to academic matters.

    The institution or even the teacher may have a great say in grading matters and it need NOT be logical

    I don't see where a picture of a "92" is a form of cribbing or academic dishonesty --but if the rule is no copy of an exam that may be the rule and end of point.



  • 06-21-2012 5:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    I am sorry.

    If it were me, I'd want to find out what policy it was exactly that I violated.

    If she was given the test, was it against policy to show it to anyone for example?

    My gosh, she was supposed to keep this paper in complete confidence, and secure it beyond all possibility of anyone seeing it?  Come on, that sounds crazy.  If they didn't want it sent out, then don't give it back to the student.  Otherwise, it's in the hand of whatever happens.  What if she brought it home, and someone else took a picture of it?  This sounds out of control to me anyway.

    When I was in school, we couldn't afford to be buying cameras and sending out <gasp> emails.

    But I'm quite sure it's common today.  

    I'd be talking to a lawyer if I were her.  It may not have been the greatest move in the world to send out a pic of her test, but come on.  It's rather easy to see how something like this would happen.

    It's rather sad actually.  She's excited for her grade, and gets punished for being happy.  How foolish is that?

     

  • 06-21-2012 5:45 PM In reply to

    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    DPH:
    What I don't understand is what kind of rule or policy could have been violated.  Is it common practice to retain graded tests, never to be seen again or to leave the premises?

    Much depends on the test and when given.  It is possible that this student took the test on a particular day and that another section of the class was scheduled later at a different day and time and had not takent the exam yet.  I can't speak for all schools but mine has a policy about not posting testing materials on line or social media.  If this school has a similar policy then it is possible that the punishment is not out of line.

    The problem is that we only have the story we are told here.  There is the rest of the information we don't know and I agree that there are key details missing and I would bet if we had the whole story the suggestion to sue or find a lawyer would not be as vigorous.  Schools rarely undertake such a punishiment without strong facts to support it.  Especially nursing schools which are highly competitve to get into to start with.

     

     

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 06-21-2012 8:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    They do pass our test out so we as a class can go over it.  If we agree with our grade, we initial our test and turn it back in...never to be seen again.  Other than that, everything I described is just how it went down.  We do have an Honesty Policy with predetermined disciplinary actions payed out in our syllibus.  For first offense of breaking honesty policy, you receive a 0 for that test.  This was definitely her first offense.

  • 06-21-2012 8:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    She is going to appeal Monday...  We will have to wait and see how that goes, I guess.

  • 06-21-2012 8:51 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: Is this even legal?!?

    soontobenurse:
    For first offense of breaking honesty policy,

    And what does the honesty policy state regarding returned tests?  Does it specify that no photo images of the tests are to be taken?   What part of the honesty policy did she violate?  Explain if you can. 

     

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

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