Academic Integrity Policy

The Truths About Academic Integrity

  • Learning to think and work independently is part of the educational process and is essential to developing responsibility and autonomy. Cheating or plagiarism in any form is considered a serious violation of expected student behavior and will result in disciplinary action.
  • Teachers assign work to further student understanding and allow them to practice skills.
  • Student learning is supported by putting sustained effort into this work.
  • When students take shortcuts to bypass work, they do not learn as effectively (or at all).
  • Cheating
    Cheating is defined as obtaining or attempting to obtain, or aiding another to obtain credit for work, or any improvement in evaluation of performance, by any dishonest or deceptive means. Cheating is the opposite of honest engagement. Cheating is also being dishonest with a teacher. Cheating is a serious offense with real consequences.
    Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

  • Copying another student’s assignments (homework, quizzes, tests, projects, essays, etc.)
  • Allowing other students to copy your assignments
  • Aiding other students on quizzes and tests when not allowed (talking during a test, passing on information, copying tests or answers)
  • Taking photos of complete and incomplete assignments or sharing assignments virtually with the intent to enable another student to avoid learning by copying work
  • Doing any of these things in any setting (at home, in another class, etc) is still cheating
  • Changing grades
  • Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is defined as the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one’s own without giving proper credit to the source. Acknowledgement of an original author or source must be made through appropriate references; i.e., quotation marks, footnotes, or commentary.
    Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following:

  • the submission of a work, either in part or in whole completed by another
  • failure to give credit for ideas, statements, or conclusions which rightfully belong to another
  • failure to use quotation marks (or other means of setting apart, such as the use of indentation or a different font size) when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or even a part thereof
  • use of another’s project or programs without giving credit
  • Collaboration vs. Cheating
    There are many situations in school where you may need to work together or collaborate. There is a very clear difference between appropriate collaboration and cheating. The bottom line is: you should never copy and then turn in someone’s work as your own.
    Appropriate Collaboration

  • Copying lecture notes with a teacher’s permission
  • Sharing ideas and working collaboratively on a project
  • Inappropriate Collaboration (Cheating)

  • Copying an assignment and then turning it in as your own thinking
  • Sharing info on or about a quiz or test with other students
  • Taking someone’s writing and including it as your own work
  • Consequences of cheating
    The following consequences are universal for all teachers. Each teacher has further individual policies for whether you receive credit or are able to make up an assignment in the case of cheating or plagiarism. If work is copied from a peer, both the student doing and allowing the copying will have the same consequence. (If it can be reasonably proved that an assignment was copied without permission, only the copier will receive these consequences.)
    1st Offense

  • Reflection email from student(s) to their teacher, their parent(s), and their administrator
  • Format for this reflection email:
  • Subject line: Cheating Reflection – first name, last name
  • Email content: What happened? What were you thinking at the time (when cheating occurred)? What have you thought about since? Who was most impacted by this example of cheating? What is your responsibility to fix this situation? Why is academic integrity meaningful, and something you should strive for? What are the future consequences if you were to cheat again?
  • 2nd Offense

  • Referral
  • Parent Conference
  • 3rd Offense

  • Referral and Parent Conference
  • Loss of privileges to attend games, dances, field trips
  • 4th Offense

  • Referral and Parent Conference
  • Failing grade in the class for the marking period
  • 5th Offense

  • Referral and Parent Conference
  • Failing grade in the class for the semester
  • Potential removal from pathway or program where the cheating occurred
  • This sequence of consequences happens individually in each class. It resets at the beginning of each semester.

    OUSD prohibits unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) against any student, employee, or other person participating in district programs and activities, including, but not limited to, those programs or activities funded directly by or that receive or benefit from any state financial assistance, based on the person's actual or perceived characteristics of race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital, pregnancy, or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information, or any other characteristic identified in Education Code 200 or 220, Government Code 11135, or Penal Code 422.55 or equity or compliance with Title IX, or based on his/her association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics (5 CCR 4610). BOARD POLICY 0410. BOARD POLICY 1312.3. BOARD POLICY 4030. BOARD POLICY 5143.3. BOARD POLICY 5145.7. Complaint forms are available at school sites, on the district webpage at www.ousd.org/ombudsperson, at the Office of the Ombudsperson located at 1000 Broadway, 1st Floor, Suite 150, Oakland, CA 94607, or via telephone 510-879-4281.

    Copyright 2020 Oakland Technical High School; all rights reserved.