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Academic Integrity Policy

To view the policy in a printable version, please click here.

To view a video about the BNHS Academic Integrity Policy, click here.

Vison and Philosophy

The vision of Byron Nelson High School is to provide educational experiences that promotes and inspires academic excellence, personal growth, and social responsibility. Our school community believes that all members of our community are responsible for maintaining a climate that values honesty, courtesy, consideration, integrity, and a concern for others. Byron Nelson High School has also created our positive behavioral expectations of respect, ownership, attitude, and responsibility. Within these two statements are the belief and expectation that our entire community act with honesty and integrity in all interactions. Honesty is a value that holds each person to tell the truth and to defend the truth. Honesty supports intellectual growth and creates a fair learning environment. Integrity is adhering to our values whether we are in the presence of others or not. In an environment of honesty and integrity, the work we submit as our own will be our own.

Cheating is an obstacle to achieving our vision and mission at BNHS. In any of its forms, for whatever reason, cheating denies the value of education. Our teaching staff strives to put the importance of learning above the importance of grades and to convince students that their best efforts are all that anyone should expect. Teachers and administrators at Byron Nelson High School firmly believe that cheating/academic dishonesty denies the value of education, damages the ethical character of the individual student, and undermines the integrity of our school community. The Academic Integrity Policy affirms that we value learning for its own sake, and that we therefore expect personal integrity and intellectual honesty in all academic work.

Our school culture places a high value on original thinking and intellectual property with the ultimate goal of encouraging our students to express themselves authentically, confidently and competently. We strive to develop our students to become principled young adults who take responsibility for their actions and accompanying consequences.


Academic Integrity involves helping maintain a culture of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility in all aspects of learning. Academic integrity means avoiding cheating and plagiarism in all forms and taking responsibility and ownership of your own work.

Academic Misconduct is intentionally or unintentionally breaking the codes of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility in the academic process. Misconduct will be dealt with seriously and judiciously (see Consequences).

Since academic integrity involves taking responsibility of one’s own learning, it is important to know and recognize the following forms of academic misconduct and avoid them:


  • Giving or receiving unauthorized assistance (e.g., copying, stealing exams, using electronic aids/devices, Internet sources, or using aids like SparkNotes instead of reading the original work) in any academic work, quiz, test, or examination. This applies to both formative and summative assignments/tasks/assessments.
  • Using graphic calculators to store information/formulas, using camera phones or text messages to store or share testing information and/or other academic work.

Plagiarism is to steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one's own. All the following are considered plagiarism:

  • Using a direct quotation from a text without quotation marks, even if the source has been cited correctly.
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing the ideas or text of another work without documenting the source.
  • Substituting a word or phrase for the original while maintaining the original sentence structure.
  • Citing sources incompletely with intention to deceive.
  • Patch writing: using words and phrases from a source text (that may or may not have been acknowledged) and patching them together in new sentences.
  • Using graphics, visual imagery, video, or audio without permission of the author or acknowledgment of the source.
  • Translating text from one language to another without citing the original work.
  • Falsification – Falsifying or inventing information, data, and citations.
  • Multiple Submission – Submitting substantial portions of any academic exercise more than once without prior authorization and approval of the teacher.
  • Turning in someone else’s work as your own.
  • Submitting AI generated content as your own work.

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find the original source is usually enough to prevent plagiarism. See Student Responsibilities for tips on how to avoid plagiarism.


Consequences for cheating and plagiarism are intended to teach and educate students the importance of Academic Integrity. They are school-wide and cumulative for all the years a student attends Byron Nelson High School. Please note that students may not choose whether they take a zero or receive the prescribed consequence; all students will receive the prescribed consequence for each academic misconduct incident.

First Offense:

  • Student must re-do assignment to meet standards without cheating/plagiarism. Student may receive up to a 70% for the revised assignment.
  • Student could face suspension or removal from BNHS sponsored activities/organizations based on the bylaws, rules, and requirements set forth by the activity/organization.
  • Assistant principal logs 1st offense of cheating in eSchool, and student will serve a day of ISS.

Second Offense: (in any class)

  • Student must re-do assignment to meet standards without cheating/plagiarism. Student may receive up to a 70% for the revised assignment.
  • Student must attend a conference with assistant principal, teacher, parent, and counselor to discuss infraction, as well as acceptable ways to meet course obligations.
  • Assistant principal logs 2nd offense of cheating in eSchool, and student will serve two days of ISS.

Third Offense: (in any class)

  • Student must re-do assignment to meet standards without cheating/plagiarism. Student may receive up to a 70% for the revised assignment.
  • Student must attend an administrative hearing to determine appropriate consequences, including suspension.

Please note that students who knowingly and/or purposely provide aid or assistance, answers, or prewritten work to other students will also receive school consequences, and may also be required to redo the assignment.

Teacher Responsibilities

✔ Make BNHS Academic Integrity policy and philosophy known to all students.

✔ Include reference to BNHS Academic Integrity policy in course information handouts and pertinent assignments. This may require students to “sign-off” indicating understanding of the policy.

✔ Consistently enforce BNHS Academic Integrity policy.

✔ Create a learning environment that supports academic integrity with:

  • Specific expectations for individual tests, papers, homework, and class work
  • Process guidelines and incremental checks/feedback provided to students prior to final assessment deadlines
  • Fair warning and study suggestions for upcoming assessments.

✔ Supervise students actively during tests, in class essays, and quizzes.

  • Minimize student passes outside the classroom during assessments
  • Plan constructive activities for students to do if they finish before classmates.

Student Responsibilities

✔ Make sure that you know and understand BNHS Academic Integrity policy. Ask for clarification if necessary.

✔ Ensure that your actions comply with BNHS Academic Integrity policy.

✔ During assessments:

  • Make sure your paper cannot be seen by anyone else.
  • Keep your eyes on your own paper.
  • Do not talk, text, or otherwise communicate with other students.
  • Do not use unauthorized notes, resources (both print and digital), or other information sources.

✔ For projects, papers, assignments:

  • Use MLA format to document research and cite sources.
  • Use works cited and/or bibliography pages accurately and appropriately.
  • Cite sources for information, images, media clips, and all other material used.
  • Document your own thinking (brainstorming, research, drafts, etc.). If questioned about the authenticity of your work, be prepared to give evidence of your preparation for the final assignment or assessment. This evidence may include:
  1. Outlines, Thinking Maps, brainstorm lists, graphic organizers
  2. Photocopies or print-outs of research materials
  3. Notes, note cards and source cards (paper or electronic)
  4. Copies of all drafts of work (printed or electronic documents saved under individual file names) Logs of work on assignments and papers

✔ In fairness to all students, make teachers aware of academic dishonesty, including kind of cheating and methods used.

Parent Responsibilities

✔ Reinforce the values you believe in. Make sure that students understand that your moral values apply every day.

✔ Reduce the pressure for "success at any cost." Give your child support even when his or her best effort doesn't earn an "A."

✔ Be aware of homework. Help your child protect study time. Provide a good study environment (desk, good light, quiet, etc.) Be sensitive to your child's study time frame.