Father of Cheating Student Continues Court Battle

The Sequoia High School student copied a homework assignment and was subsequently kicked out of the honors program.

According to the San Jose Merury News, Jack Berghouse, the father of a , will not drop his lawsuit despite a that the student could not return to the program.

The attorney, John Shupe said that the school had assumed Berghouse would not pursue any further legal action and that the case would be dropped.

"We were hoping they would just drop it," Shute told the Mercury News.

In the case, Berghouse did not dispute that his son copied homework, rather, he alleged that his son's due process rights were violated. He argued that his son's chances of getting into a competitive college were at risk by not taking the honors-level class, and asked for a more lenient punishment.

The lawsuit made national headlines last spring and the Berghouse's actions drew an and public criticism. Debates over the lawsuit played out in the media, throughout the Peninsula.

principal, Bonnie Hansen and SUHSD superintendent Jim Lianides are named as defendants in the case.

In an email to the Mercury News, Lianides said he was "very surprised," that Berghouse continues to pursue the case.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge George Miriam has set the trial date for April 8, 2013.

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Bud August 31, 2012 at 03:20 PM
What a great example the idiot parents are setting for this kid ... It's bad enough the kids a cheater but now the parents are trying to tell him that when you do something wrong, if you bitch enough about it, you won't be held accountable for your actions ! I don't fully blame the kid ... It's not his fault his parent(s) are as dumb as he is !
CHERYL STONE August 31, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I agree..this is an honors club, not a cheaters club..You have pride in what you accomplish on your own..After awhile the parents just need to zip it & let your kid learn the hard way..The only way anyone will ever get anywhere is to do the best you can on your own or believe me you will learn the hard way...I don't feel sorry for the kid or the parent..it was his/her choice..
Sharon Levin August 31, 2012 at 03:51 PM
My understanding of the case is that the student was given the deal of being placed out of the ICAP class (the part of the International Baccalaureate program for freshmen and sophomores) with the ability to go straight into IB English his junior year with nothing noted on his record. It was a pretty sweet deal given the cheating code every student and parent has to sign at Sequoia. I find it a shame that this father continues to use district time, energy and money to fight a very fair decision.
RWCReader August 31, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Too bad this arrogant man doesn't see the damage he is doing to his son. He cheated so take responsibility and move on.
Michael Craig August 31, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Many parents these days set up boundaries for their kids and tell them there are consequences if they don't follow the rules. Unfortunately, there are also some parents that "say" they have rules and consequenses but never follow through with the consequences and are surprised when others do enforce the consequences. Too bad these parents have no shame about their bad parenting skills.
Aaron August 31, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Silly Lawsuit. I would use the money to send my honor roll kid to a nicer school, or homeschool him. as far as cheating goes... our whole economy is rigged to serve cheaters. despite the bad parenting, the kid will probably do ok ... so long as his parents leave him some $$
Sharon Levin September 01, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Sequoia is a wonderful school, the issue here is the student and the parent, NOT the school.
Sarah September 01, 2012 at 06:15 AM
What I don't get is that his son will almost be done with his junior year by the time this goes to trial. What good is the outcome going to be for his son except to get unwanted publicity.
Sarah September 01, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Also, it must be very awkward for his mom.
spanky September 01, 2012 at 02:18 PM
The publicity will be especially unwanted when he applies to a university and admissions googles the kids name ......
Jeni September 04, 2012 at 07:14 AM
While you're completely right that the issue is 100% the student's cheating and his father being an enabler of sorts, I don't think that many residents of Redwood City would agree that Sequoia is a "wonderful school." The teachers may try hard and be passionate, but I see Sequoia students all the time loitering around Sequoia Station getting into trouble and I'm often reading in the local news about the gang activity and fights on campus. Sequoia is the lowest performing high school in the district, and I know at least one teacher there who privately discusses how frustrated she is at how little her students care about doing well and succeeding in school. Many of the students' parents are uninvolved in their child's education and Sequoia seems to have a lackluster PTA (maybe things have gotten better this year?). I don't see these same problems at M.A., Carlmont, or Woodside. But I hope that Sequoia is getting better!
Sharon Levin September 04, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Jeni, I have no idea what school you're talking about. I have one recent Sequoia grad and a Sequoia sophomore. Sequoia really is a wonderful school with a lot of amazing teachers and an administration that truly cares about all of the students. Sequoia was the most popular school in the district in the past few years meaning that the district has actually asked us to take in more students. Gang activity and fights? I think I know of one fight from a few years ago, although I'm sure there are more, we have 2100 hormonal teenagers. It's not if there are fights, it's how they are handled, and again, our administration is on top of things. Are many of the parents uninvolved? Sure, just like at any large public school. But many are very involved. Working to help the whole school thrive. Our PTSA (our equivalent of the PTA) is run by very dedicated parents and they work their tails off. I will stick by my statement that it is a wonderful school and we're delighted that our daughters have been able to go there.
Buck Shaw September 04, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Berghouse, Berghouse, Berghouse, Berghouse. Hummmm. I've heard that name somewhere. Oh yes, thats the student who cheats and has no honor. Heh, don't we have a Berghouse application. See if thats the guy. If it is trash his application and let him go elsewhere. His NAME is MUDD.. Berghouse, Berghouse, Hummm.......
CHERYL STONE September 04, 2012 at 05:20 PM
I have a child the goes to Sequoia, i don't know about the teachers, but i do know the policy is very strict to be in the halls "or wandering around"..It used to have a bad rap, but now the school is one of the highest in the district..I am glad my child goes there..If that child is so smart & i do sincerely doubt it,send him somewhere else..just sayin
Enquiring Mind September 04, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Aaron, if by a "nicer" school you mean one without an honor code or one that rewards rather than punishes cheating, I agree with you. I have known several folks who either attended or currently attend Sequoia and they feel Sequoia is a very nice school with engaging teachers and a very active Parents' Group,
Susan October 21, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Jeni, before you trash a school that actually took a stand on student integrity, I'd suggest you invest some time checking out if your assumptions are in fact correct. Yes, students hang out at Sequoia Station and some do get in trouble, but if that, and the voice of one frustrated teacher is your sole method of assessing a school, you are missing out on the many, many great things that are happening at Sequoia. Next year, I will send my third child to Sequoia. I would not send them anywhere else! Sequoia has exceeded our expectations in terms of quality teachers, who have gone above and beyond to help our kids succeed, and an administrative staff who are not only accessible, but work incredibly hard to successfully keep one step ahead of all "the gang activity and fights on campus" you sighted. We've been at Sequoia for six years, the one fight our kids heard about was shut down about as soon as it started. In terms of parent involvement, my husband and I have invested more hours than you can imagine at the school, alongside scores of other parents, whose involvement far exceeds ours. Yes, there are parents who are completely uninvolved, some by choice, others because they work multiple jobs to support their family. Sequoia is a great school and amazing community. The proof, there is a wait list to get in. M.A, Carlmont and Woodside may not have the same problems, but they pull from different neighborhoods and lack the diversity and beauty that Sequoia offers.


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