Friday, January 29, 2010

Bullying: An Academic Crime?

My first reaction upon seeing this story, after visceral disgust and rage, was that there ought to be some consequences for teen girls who bully a classmate to death. People have lost college admissions for less. But as PG pointed out, revoking admission for plagiarism is kosher because it's "an academic crime," whereas bullying goes on everywhere.

So what is an "academic crime"? Isn't this sort of bullying something that "brings into question your honesty, maturity, or moral character," just like plagiarism? If you can receive points toward admission for community service, leadership in extracurricular activities, and other holistic factors, why shouldn't you be downgraded for instigating the death of a classmate? (Presuming, of course, that authorities investigate and find you've committed wrongdoing?)
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