Student Suing School After Being Handed An 'F' For Allegedly Cheating

| by Jonathan Wolfe

A Renton, Washington, high school student is suing her school district and demanding that an ‘F’ grade be removed from her transcript. The student was handed the poor grade after allegedly cheating on a test. The student denies she was cheating, though, and says the grade will hurt her chances of getting into college.

The issue started when a chemistry teacher found several cheat sheets stuffed inside the student’s pencil pouch during a test. Since the pouch was accessible to the student when she took the test, the teacher assumed the student was cheating and punished her accordingly. She was given a failing grade on the test and ordered to go to detention.

The student immediately protested both punishments. She claims that she never used the cheat sheet during the test and that her failing grade and detention were therefore both unwarranted. After appeals to her school’s principal and the county school board were unsuccessful, she and her family hired a lawyer.

Her attorney, Greg McBroom, says the student fears the failing grade will hurt her college admission chances.

“That’s the only reason she’s filing the lawsuit,” McBroom told Seattle Pi. “She’s never had any problems with the school. No disciplinary record. Nothing.”

The Renton school board says overwhelming evidence exists that the student cheated.

“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,” board member Al Talley wrote in the board’s recent ruling.

After unsuccessfully challenging her punishment at every level of the school district's appeal system, the student and her attorney will head to a superior court judge to plead their case. No preliminary hearing date has been set yet, CBS Seattle reports.

Sources: Seattle Pi, CBS Seattle