Father Sues to Defend a Cheating Son

This is the most hilarious piece of news that I’ve read in a while. In LA, a student cheated and has been caught doing it. So now his father is suing the school for not celebrating his stupid cheater of a son:

At a high school school . . . a father is going to court to keep his son from facing the school’s discipline for cheating. No one is denying that the boy broke the rules, copying essay homework from another student, but the father’s argument is that the punishment — throwing the sophomore out of the English honors course — is too harsh because a regular English course doesn’t impress colleges as much as the more rigorous class.

“Cause we totally need this kind of a cheating fool among our college student. Some values this idiot family has.

I feel very sorry for the kid whose unprincipled loser of a father is teaching him that cheating is an acceptable way to go through life because there will always be a helicoptering adult who’ll defend your right to be as stupid and dishonest as you want. The boy is in for a very rude awakening.

Seriously, what are such parents thinking? Don’t they understand that they will be the first in line to sample the dishonesty they fostered in their own kid?

9 thoughts on “Father Sues to Defend a Cheating Son

  1. The father’s argument is: “I already disrespect this subject area on behalf of my son, so given I have such disrespect, how dare the administrators of this subject treat me harshly?”


  2. I wonder if the son shares his father’s feelings or if he’s willing to accept the consequences laid out at the start of the course.


  3. This is precisely why I could never teach high school. I wasn’t really able to put a finger on why high school seems so horrid to me as a teacher, since I teach an awful lot of freshmen. But I get it now — this is why.


  4. In most other countries a lawsuit such as this would be laughed out of the court and summarily dismissed in less than two minutes. In America this is likely to be settled after tens of thousands of dollars in lawyers fees.


    1. I actually think this lawsuit has more than a chance to be thrown out here. If the article is correct about the facts (I can only read the latimes.com article, which is an opinion piece — the link to the original story in the San Mateo times gets only a “file not found” page), the father’s claims are ridiculous on their face. On the other hand, if there is a procedure in the school for cheaters that give them a “second chance” or some other leeway so they can’t be removed from the class they cheated on without being offered these, and the kid didn’t get properly offered them, he might have a claim. Normally such an obvious case of cheating wouldn’t bring a parent to sue, even if the parent thought their little darling should be given life on a silver platter. I do realize there are parents whose ideas on what their precious babies are entitled to are ludicrous, but lawsuits take money, time, and effort to follow through. Considering the program the kid is in won’t even take him out of the IB program for his demotion tells me something else is going on here and it’s not just a simple case of overzealous parenting. In short, I’m wary of basing my opinion on this story from just one source, and a secondary one at that.

      So I did some searching and “parent of cheating kid sues school” did bring up a lot of news stories and blog posts on it so the lawsuit and the cheating did happen. I did find this interesting tidbit on the San Francisco Chronicle website:

      “Jack Berghouse and his wife filed a lawsuit last week against the school district claiming their son’s due process rights were violated.

      “The suit says the school’s policies regarding punishment for cheating are vague and contradictory and shouldn’t be enforced.”

      Okay, that’s kind of different from “dad wants cheating son to stay in advanced class because it’s more prestigious.” It still might be a specious charge — the academic honesty paper the kid signed seems pretty straightforward to me — but as I thought (and as are usual in these instances) it’s a suit over due process, not over the need to spoil their kid.


      1. These parents get involved in the issue – and in such an egregious way, too – instead of letting their son deal with it. Doing this because of vague policies is as bizarre as doing it over punishment for cheating. These are horrible parents and the kid has already turned out to be a cheater. I have no doubt he’ll end up as a total loser in life.


      2. I agree the parents shouldn’t get involved. High schoolers are old enough to take care of their own academic problems. My parents never got involved in any of my decisions with picking electives or any other school thing unless I asked, and I rarely did. I hardly ever even asked my parents for help with homework. In my day teenagers were very big into independence and showing they didn’t have to depend on mommy and daddy to do everything for them.


      3. The Mercury Daily News has more details

        From what I can tell from the stories, the school reduced the punishment and let the son in stay in the IB program because of the suit, but that wasn’t good enough for the dad.

        The juiciest tidbit is, “In his son’s case, the students had to write in journals for homework. In March, two of the students were caught with copied entries from two others.”

        If the son was smart enough to be in the college-prep program, he should have been smart enough to know that it would be easy to catch him for a copied journal entry. My guess is that the dad wants the son to be in the prestigious program and to go to a prestigious college, to heck with whether that’s what the son wants.


      4. Thanks, I couldn’t get the Mercury News site to load (we’ve been having trouble here with our internet connection lately). It’s looking worse and worse for son and family, and they only have the hope that the administration is weak and will cave. From what I’m reading, the school administration does sound pretty weak.

        And this kid really, really doesn’t belong in any kind of advanced placement program. I thought the homework in question was a paper or take-home quiz. But a journal entry? That is so lame. I can write journal entries in my sleep (just look at my blog for evidence, heh heh). I’ll bet the requirements weren’t even “write a researched, essay-like entry of at least three paragraphs with footnotes indicating you have read the text” but just to write a couple of sentences (I’m assuming the journal is supposed to be referring to stuff they’re studying in the class, not “LOL class was boring today we made spitballs and slept in the back for the last half hour”). But I’ve seen parents pushing their kids like this before. I knew a kid who was definitely not academic material — he hated to read, was always disruptive in class, preferred being outside and socializing with his friends, and did his best in programs like Junior ROTC. There’s no use shoving the faces of kids like these into books — we need soldiers and guys to lay down cement just as much as we need teachers or doctors — but the last I heard he’d started going to one of those magnet schools for extra smart kids.


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