Plagiarism plague fails to spread to Glen Rock High School


Photo Credit: Anastasia Zenkevich

There are only one or two cases of plagiarism a year at Glen Rock High School

by Anastasia Zenkevich, Staff Writer

The most common cases of plagiarism include copying or pasting information from the internet. However, plagiarism includes anything from taking credit for a sibling’s paper to something as simple as using passages from google to help write an essay.

According to, a study done by a Rutgers professor shows that 58% of high school students admitted to plagiarizing, and 95% admitted in participating in some kind of cheating. At Glen Rock High School, the school principal, John Arlotta estimates that there are only one or two cases of plagiarism a year.

In order to ensure that students do not plagiarize, Glen Rock High School uses Turn it In in many classes as a means of detecting stolen words. This website is used by teachers mostly in English and History classes where students hand in many written works.

Some students, though, don’t believe that these teachers’ efforts are efficacious.

“I think it’s pretty hard for teachers to catch students when they plagiarize, and so far none of my teachers asked me to use,” a freshman said.

The flow of information through the internet makes it difficult for some students to grasp that, while copying and pasting, they are claiming another person’s work as their own. Due to the availability of information on the internet, schools have adapted and many are forced to teach students about finding credible sources.

“We had to teach the ability to analyze research and see whether its credible data or not,” Arlotta states.

The few cases of plagiarism that occur each year result in many serious consequences. Arlotta explains that the administration decides the consequences on a case to case basis. The punishment gets worse as the student plagiarizes more often. However some consequence are consistent for every case.

“The student gets a zero on the assignment and is not allowed to make it up. Parents are contacted and the principal gets involved,” Ann Comarato, an English teacher, explained.

Plagiarism is a serious form of cheating that can become a habit for some students. Extinguishing plagiarism at an early level is necessary, because if caught on a college level, the student could possibly face a consequence as serious as expulsion.

“Most importantly we are trying to teach high school students the ramifications of plagiarizing on the college level,” Arlotta said.

The Media Center specialist, Linda Hartman, annually gives seminars introducing students to both the dangers of plagiarism and an introduction to the Turn It In program.