November 17th – The Rules and Discipline Committee at Blair Academy is soon to hear a case over a plagiarism concern. It is always disappointing to hear the news of a possible break in the trust between members of the community and the community itself; and of course, this is not the first instance. This is, however, the first instance in which a teacher is being tried for such misconduct. To make matters even more intriguing, it was not a faculty member who brought the alleged infraction to the attention of the R&D, but was in fact a student.
“This is a groundbreaking case”
Mr. Padden is being charged with two counts of plagiarism for his decision to have a caption contest of his own for his BC Calculus students. The student to give information to the school administration was Tys Sweeney (‘17), Co-founder and Editor of The Oracle. “This is a blatant knockoff of our Oracle Caption Contests,” Sweeney says, “We have rights to all Caption Contests on campus.” Mr. Padden, who denies any wrong doing, was reached for comment:
This case has no merit. Long before Tys Sweeney’s The Oracle by Tys Sweeney even existed, I was working my way up the comic ranks running caption contests out of my basement. I eventually brought the captioning to Blair in the fall of 2009,just about the time Tys was celebrating his first double-digit birthday. As soon as this case is thrown out, I will be filing a countersuit for defamation of character.
Mr. Pagotto, Associate Head of School, was excited when he first heard of the conflict. “This is a groundbreaking case,” Pagotto informed me. “Regardless of who wins, this the first case of its kind in all of Blair’s 167 years!”
Mr. Pagotto is right; this is the first case in which a student has notified the administration of any infringement of school policy related to academics, it is the first R&D Committee to try a faculty member, and it is the first plagiarism case to be tried under the R&D Committee and not the Academic Honor Committee.
Understandably, the latter record has raised a few red flags among members of the community. This has led to theories and rumors, told by faculty and students alike, that corrupt elements are present in this case. Quint “Q” Clark, professor of Student Handbook Law, explains why: “If this case were given to the Academic Honor Committee, it would have been thrown out for many reasons, including Mr. Padden’s close relationships with many of the faculty and students. The Rules and Discipline Committee is always eager to take cases, and it’s pretty certain that the charges will stick.”
If they do, Mr. Padden faces 2 weekends of Home restriction from 8-10 with Sunday Work Squad, not to mention Conduct Warning if he is found guilty of one count of plagiarism, Conduct Probation if he is found guilty of both.
Mr. Padden does not look like he can afford his own faculty advisor attorney, so the school’s public defendant, Mr. Widelitz, will be appointed to represent him.
The Trial will take place after the Rules and Discipline Committee reconvenes after Thanksgiving Break. The R&D is currently hearing a case related to a Peddie Day Prank that was done unsupervised.
(Copyright Jack Saxton. This pieces is satirical in nature and the events, views, opinions, and information presented here could be either skewed or completely erroneous. This is not a factual article.)