Monday, March 24, 2008

Was it clearly articulated?

The scene: 8th grade Spanish class
The assignment: write 1 paragraph in Spanish about your favorite restaurant
The crime: using an online translator
The defense: he didn't think it was cheating

School policy states that cheating is a zero for the assignment plus a Saturday detention. Graciously, he was allowed to redo the assignment for half credit.

His parents failed to see the severity of the situation. When they were informed of their son's behavior, they informed the principal that they weren't sure using a translator to write a Spanish paper was cheating.

And they asked if it had been clearly articulated that the students were not allowed to do so.

Excuse me?

Was it WHAT?

Does it have to be "clearly articulated" to a student writing a paper for English class not to find another essay online, copy it, & put his/her name on it & turn it in?

Does it have to be "clearly articulated" not to look at your neighbor's paper during an exam?

Does it really have to be "clearly articulated" not to lie, cheat, & steal?

Apparently, it does.

These are the same people that make it necessary for a cup of coffee to have a warning lable reading "hot." The same people inspire tags on diaper bags instructing hapless parents not to "place baby inside bag." Or a tag telling us never to use a hair dryer in the shower or while sleeping. How about the warning on a Batman costume that the shield is not protective & the cape does not enable the wearer to fly.

If people can't figure out the obvious things like a can of peanuts may contain peanuts or peanut oil, or that if (after taking a certain medication advertized on TV) they experience an erection lasting longer than 4 hours they should call the doctor, perhaps we do have to clearly articulate that using a translation service is actually cheating.

Perhaps I'm just smarter than the average bear, but I know -- even without it being clearly articulated -- that I should not eat the insides of a bean bag.

In case you didn't know, they aren't actual beans in there.

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