Parents Sue School for Kicking Their Son Out of Class for Cheating

Not From The Onion:

The parents of a sophomore at Sequoia High School in Redwood City have sued the district for kicking the student out of an honors English class last month for copying a classmate’s homework.

The lawsuit, filed April 18 in San Mateo County Superior Court, claims the teenager’s due process rights were violated. It names as defendants the Sequoia Union High School District, District Superintendent James Lianides and Sequoia High School Principal Bonnie Hansen.

The sophomore had signed an “Academic Honesty Pledge” at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year that declares cheating is grounds for immediate removal from the advanced-level program; his mother also had signed it. According to the lawsuit, however, another school document states that a student will be removed from the program only after a second plagiarism offense.

The boy’s father, Jack Berghouse, does not dispute that his son copied his English homework from another student, who also was kicked out of the honors class for the offense. But Berghouse said he believes the punishment is disproportionate to the offense and will jeopardize his son’s academic future.

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