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5131.2 Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism


Northfield, New Jersey Monitored


Policy X Other Reasons


Students are expected to be honest in all of their work. The Northfield City Board of Education believes that cheating and plagiarism are serious academic offenses. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that occurs when a student credits someone else’s work as his or her own. This can range from failing to cite an author for ideas incorporated into a student’s paper to cutting and pasting paragraphs from different websites to handing in a paper downloaded from the internet.

The following behaviors shall be considered violations of board policy:

  1. Cheating on examinations, including but not limited to, the non-authorized use of books or notes, the use of crib sheets, copying from other students’ papers, exchanging information with other students orally, in writing, or by signals, obtaining copies of the examination illegally and other similar activities where students employ means to credit someone else’s works as their own.
  2. Plagiarism on term papers, essays, reports, images, take-home examinations, and other academic work. Plagiarism shall be defined as stealing or use without acknowledgement of the ideas words, formulas, textual materials, on line services, computer programs, etc. of another person, or in any way presenting the work of another person as one’s own.
  3. Falsification, including but not limited to, forging signatures, altering answers after they have been graded, the insertion of answers after the fact, the erasure of grade markings, and other acts that allow for falsely taking credit.

A student found guilty of academic dishonesty may be subject to the full range of penalties as detailed in board policy and regulation 5131 Conduct and Discipline, and 5131 Conduct and Discipline; Regulation. This may include reprimand and loss of credit for some or all of the work depending on the severity of the offense.

Levels of Academic Dishonesty

Level I

Plagiarism – Occurrence would involve the student’s use of phrases or a few lines of text or a paragraph without proper citation. Most of the student’s work is still his or her own.

Level II

Plagiarism – Involves the student’s use of multiple paragraphs of someone else’s work, and/or the use of someone else’s ideas without the proper attribution, and/or repeated paraphrasing without proper attribution. While some of the work is the student’s own, it is clear that significant portions of the student’s work are not his/her own.

Level III

Plagiarism – Occurs when most, if not all, of the work has been copied from another source.

Level IV

Plagiarism – Occurs when the student has plagiarized, in any way, for the second time.

Cheating – Any form of cheating as described in “A” above.

Falsification – Any form of falsification as described in “C” above.

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty

Teachers who believe a student has been academically dishonest shall:

  1. If it is a Level I offense, reprimand the student orally and/or in writing. The teacher is authorized to withhold credit for the work violating board policy. There will be a parent conference by teacher, that is documented in writing.
  2. If the incident is a Level II through IV offense, a written complaint shall be filed with the principal. The principal or his or her designee shall review the offense and may assign consequences. The consequences will include a parent conference and, may include any of the following and is at the discretion of the principal: loss of credit, detention, loss of school privileges (such as loss of participation in National Junior Honor Society, athletics, extracurricular activities and school clubs), counseling by guidance counselor.

The student and/or the parent/guardian may appeal the disciplinary action of the principal in accordance with board policy and regulation 5145.6 Student Grievance.


NJSBA Review/Update:


Revised: March 2021

Key Words

Academic Dishonesty, Cheating, Fabrication, Facilitating Academic Dishonesty, Plagiarism

Legal References: N.J.S.A. 2A:38A-1 et seq. Computer System

N.J.S.A. 2C:20-25 Computer Related Theft

N.J.S.A. 18A:7A-11 Annual report of local school district; contents; annual

report of commissioner; report on improvement of basic


N.J.S.A. 18A:36-35 School Internet websites; disclosure of certain student

information prohibited

N.J.A.C. 6A:30-1.1 et seq. Evaluation of the Performance of School Districts



Cross References: *4131/4131.1 Staff development; in-service education/visitation conferences

*4231/4231.1 Staff development; in-service education/visitation conferences

*5020 Role of parents/guardians

*5114 Suspension and Expulsion

*5124 Reporting to parents/guardians

*5127 Commencement Activities

*5131 Conduct and Discipline

*5145.4 Equal education opportunity

*5145.6 Student Grievance procedure

*6164.4 Child Study Team

*6171.4 Special Education

*Indicates policy is included in the Critical Policy Reference Manual.

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