When I was in the 8th grade, I cheated. In English class for extra credit we could write a paper on any book we wanted and present it to the class. I copied. A girl who had often called me names in the hallway and made fun of my clothes, found me out, cornered me, and gloated that she was going to tell the teacher. I spun around, marched over to the teacher and told her myself.
The teacher furrowed her brow and said, “It was only for extra credit and it had to take a lot of time for you to copy that much. You probably learned something, so let’s not worry about it.”
The girl was pissed that I got in no trouble–she threatened to beat me up and I walked away from her again then too. At least I never copied again–after all, who needs that kind of guilt and blackmail?
Okay, so I’m sure this says nothing too flattering about me, but what does that say about the teacher? Shouldn’t I have gotten into trouble? What was she thinking?
What should happen to students who plagiarize?