Accused of Cheating...How do I get past this?

  1. 0
    Let me just start this by saying I have never cheated in my life, and don't plan on it.

    What happened was during our last lab practical I changed my answer to the last question and then flipped my scantron over before the professor called time, then i thought I had smudged my name...I didn't want to flip it over since my time was running out. So I started to write my name on the back K-e-n-d-e-l G-a-r "Time!" -c-i-a I stepped back and went to leave the room and my professor runs over and asks me what I was doing with my scantron. I told him I wrote my name on the back because I thought I smudged my name but didn't want to flip over my scantron so close to time. He let me off with a warning and I left class relieved. I ran into him at the gas station after the exam and told him that I was really sorry and that I didn't cheat and reiterated that I thought my name was smudged. The next day I come into class and after lecture he pulls me aside and says that I will be receiving an F 0% on my lab practical (which is worth 100 out of 1000 points), he says he is not going to take any other disciplinary action, but said he had to give me the zero in order to be fair. He also said he doesn't believe that I only stood there for 2 seconds, he said I changed answers for 10-15 seconds (!) which is totally not true, I even went and asked the girl who was 1 question behind me on the practical if I changed any answers after he called time (just to see if I was going insane) and she said no I just wrote my name down and walked away. But now I'm stuck with this big lousy F which dropped my grade down from a B to an D! What do you guys suggest I do?

    I already emailed my professor and apologized again and told him that I would work just as hard in the rest of the class, that I wouldn't cause any trouble (no bashing on rate my professor), that I understood why he gave me an F and there were no hard feelings on my part (I hate a festering bad attitude), and that he should expect the strongest comeback in academia.

    So, do you guys think its possible to earn this professor's respect back? I was planning on asking him to write my reference letter for nursing school, but now I'm thinking I should ask a different professor.

    Has anyone ever dealt with something like this before? I'm so discouraged, but I know I didn't cheat so I guess that's what really matters. I just want to do well in this class and not have a silly misunderstanding affect my chances of getting into nursing school.

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  2. 16 Comments...

  3. 1
    Hello!

    First off... this alone should not affect your chances of getting into nursing school.

    Second... you did right in speaking with the teacher, but I would have been more assertive about what you did and didn't do. If I had felt the teacher had been unfair and would not give me a reasonable explanation, I would have reported the incident to the Dean of Academics and ask for assistance. I think that if your name was written on both sides of the scantron, that would be a strong piece of evidence in your favor.

    At this point, I would not ask him for a letter of recommendation... look for another professor.

    You have the right attitude in not bashing him in public forums like "Rate my Professor". Here is ok because you're not telling his name or where he teaches... and you're asking for advice. Going to the Dean with a complain would also be acceptable behavior because you would be taking this up a level through the chain of command... it is your right and they are there to help with disputes.

    I wish you the best! As long as you do the right thing, do not worry about "earning" his respect back... he should notice your integrity all by himself... if he doesn't I would feel bad for him because it would be more of a reflection on him than you. Continue taking the high road!

    phoenixnim likes this.
  4. 5
    I don't understand why you would keep apologizing and try to win his respect back, unless you did cheat or at least did something that you were not suppose to do. If an instructor accuses me of cheating, which I would never do, I would ask for all evidence and bring it up to the Dean; I would never let a cheating accusation slip by without fighting it. At the same time, I generally believe the professors more than I do the students....I've seen way too many cheating students but have never seen an unfair professor.

    Also, after an incidence like this you should not ask him for a reference. References are generally blind (you don't know what he'll write), and if he failed you for cheating, it is unlikely that he will give you a good recommendation regardless of how wonderful your grades are. Grades have nothing to do with integrity.
    quirk, BahSun, ScrappytheCocoRN, and 2 others like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from umbdude
    I don't understand why you would keep apologizing and try to win his respect back, unless you did cheat or at least did something that you were not suppose to do. If an instructor accuses me of cheating, which I would never do, I would ask for all evidence and bring it up to the Dean; I would never let a cheating accusation slip by without fighting it. At the same time, I generally believe the professors more than I do the students....I've seen way too many cheating students but have never seen an unfair professor.

    Also, after an incidence like this you should not ask him for a reference. References are generally blind (you don't know what he'll write), and if he failed you for cheating, it is unlikely that he will give you a good recommendation regardless of how wonderful your grades are. Grades have nothing to do with integrity.
    The only thing I did was finish writing my name after he called time. I am the kind of person who works really hard to have people approve of me ( I'm a bit of a people pleaser which I know is a flaw), and I have a very strong moral standard so the thought of someone believing I cheated or being labeled as a cheater just upsets me. I work so hard for good grades (and studied my butt off for this test) and don't find cheating appealing because I want to EARN my grades.

    But at the same time I do understand professors being hyper vigilant about cheating because I see it happen all the time. And very rarely do the students get caught. It just sucks that so many people get away with it and then I get punished for cheating when I didn't do it.

    As long as there is no disciplinary action taken I'm okay. I can bust my butt to get the best grade possible.
  6. 5
    I really don't understand why you're okay with a 0 if you truly did nothing wrong. There are avenues in place to appeal a decision such as this.
    quirk, BahSun, ScrappytheCocoRN, and 2 others like this.
  7. 2
    A zero on a 100 point practical...ouch. You shoulda just asked the instructor if your name is legible instead of messing around with the scantron after time was called.....gots to be more careful
  8. 0
    You need to be WAY more assertive and talk to the Dean. The the above post said, if you have your name on both sides of the paper I would then ask him "what kind of evidence do you have on me?" I understand the cheating issue, people in my O-Chem class would sit in the very back and take their tests as a group. Sooo annoying.
  9. 2
    You are a people pleaser to the point of apologizing to someone who wrongfully accused you of cheating and gave you an F on a practical for it? You might want to work on that. I'm not trying to be mean or sarcastic at all. I'm seriously suggesting that you might work on the issue and try being more of an advocate for yourself before you begin your career as a nurse.

    I would not be ok with being failed for cheating when I did not cheat. I can certainly understand the feeling of wanting to leave it behind you and move on. I can also understand being afraid that by attempting to do something about it (going through the procedure set up by your school specifically for these situations), you might find yourself somehow worse off. But I do not understand the emailing a letter of apology.

    I'm not saying I would do something unprofessional and I'm not suggesting you should bash him or otherwise act in those ways. But there is a point when I am not going to just sit back and do nothing. —And a false accusation of cheating (and a resulting F) is one of those times.
    quirk and phoenixnim like this.
  10. 0
    I don't understand your attitude towards this at all. If you did not cheat, why in the world would you be okay with a Zero?!?!

    I also understand being a people pleaser, but this is YOUR grade, and if you did nothing wrong, then you need to stop apologizing and go advocate for yourself. There are going to be plenty of times in your life where you will need to advocate for yourself.

    If you can't stand up for yourself to a professor in a class... how are you going to stand up for yourself or a patient when a doctor is in the wrong?

    Something to think about.
  11. 0
    Okay, so I received an email today from my professor saying that he doesn't believe that I cheated, but I did break the rules by writing on my scantron so he had to be fair and give me a zero to show that he wasn't playing favorites. I don't really like that answer, as I am really unhappy and think I'm being over-punished for just writing my name on the back of the scantron. He said that he's really impressed by my attitude and he thinks I will be able to make it up over the rest of the semester.

    I'm not going to take this too the dean (though I am prepared with eye witnesses and a character reference from a past professor should the need arise) because I've had to go to this particular dean twice over the past to years, once for a teacher who made racist and sexists comments to students, and another time when a professor told a group of students to go ask for an extra class to be opened. Neither time has the dean been helpful, in fact he told a student to "get the f*** out of his office" when the student asked a question. My school is not a student's school by any means. Over half the students are failing at least one class, a tenth are on acedemic probation or have been in the past, and students are constantly getting thrown out of class for being rude to professors in class. The staff is so jaded into thinking that all the students are ghetto and don't care about their education (because a good portion of them are, I'm not try to bash my school here, but statistically the student population does not make a good name for themselves) Most of the students are lazy and horrid students, and there are very few actual good students. So instead of the staff believing that you are a good student unless proven otherwise; faculty believes everyone in their class is a bad student unless proven otherwise. (does that make sense?). So going to the dean, I think, would do more harm than good because if my professor found out that I filed a complaint about him I could get his wrath the rest of the semester. So pretty much, my school is faculty oriented instead of student oriented and I honestly doubt I would get any sympathy from the dean. To me the risks (possibility of having to stay in the class with an angry professor, taking a W, having the professor decide to take me to the dean for "cheating" even though I didn't, etc.) far outweigh the benefits (getting an A instead of a B).

    So I'm going to make the most of it, and I don't think that makes me a push over. Because in all reality, I touched my scantron after he called time. Do I think the punishment is harsh and unfair? Heck yes! Do I like it? No! Am I going to take the high road so that I don't spend the next eight weeks having difficulties with this professor and possibly open myself up to having to take a W or fail the class? Yes, I'm gonna take the high road, and it might SUCK, but that's the choice I've made.

    And I have stood up for myself, I've talked with the professor three times about this matter, just because I didn't get the desired outcome doesn't mean I haven't stood up for myself. Getting what you want isn't the marker of someone who stands up for themselves, in my opinion.

    Thank you guys for your comments, for the most part they have been very encouraging.


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