It started with a slow ooze of multiple homework assignments copied off of a classmate (which I refused to accept & instructed Cheater Chaz to quit doing, hoping this would be one of those 'teaching moments' I hear so much about from colleagues).
Then a portion of unquoted text crept into several of his homework responses (which I instructed Cheater Chaz to fix & to stop copying from Wikipedia, all the while assigning F's for work that was not his own and instructing him to look up certain pages in our handbook outlining the definition of academic dishonesty).
This was followed by several office visits where Cheater Chaz came to "get help" with assignments such as summarizing short articles. Essentially, he asked what he should write without having read the articles. I instructed him to read the articles and try to write in his own words what they were about and I would look over his summaries to offer pointers. After each office visit during which I refused to tell him what the articles were about without his having first read them, he said, "You just mean. Why won't you help me?"
I asked why he hadn't read the assignments. "No time. It's boring," he claimed. But I suspected Cheater Chaz could not read. I suspected he could not write. I asked Cheater Chaz if he would like a tutor or if he would like to withdraw from the class. "No, I need the credit to stay on the team. And I'm cool: I don't need a tutor," he laughed. OK.
Finally, a torrent of plagiarized paragraphs littering the first major paper came in during a one-on-one conference (which I instructed Cheater Chaz to fix by showing him in the handbook and online, how to quote correctly and how to summarize/paraphrase. "I got it," he said. "You don't have to keep telling me I did it wrong."). Cheater Chaz turned in his final draft without changing a single word (complete with plagiarism he could no longer claim was 'inadvertent.').
As students filed back into class after the weekend, I handed out rubrics with grades. To Cheater Chaz, I handed the academic dishonesty report that goes to the academic VP's office and is followed by a visit to the disciplinary committee. Next to my record of his various infractions during the quarter was an F and a recommendation that he withdraw from the class because there was no way he could pass the class without cheating (as evidenced by his having cheated on almost everything due in the first three weeks of class). Cheater Chaz requested to speak to me outside of class.
We stepped into the hallway as students continued to file into the classroom.
"How can you say I cheated?" he demanded.
"Given that you've gotten F's on almost everything you've turned in so far because you copied from another source and we've talked about this multiple times, I'm surprised that you're surprised," I responded.
And this is when Cheater Chaz pulled out the lame guns of logic. "You're racist," he shouted. "You always had it out for me from the beginning. You're just racist."
To prove this racism in a formal complaint he filed against me, he pulled out all of his homework and assignments (with my grades of "F" and notes instructing him to quit cheating on assignments, along with page numbers he could look up in our handbook on the topic of academic dishonesty).
During the disciplinary board hearing, he provided such evidence to "prove" that I was racist. When the disciplinary committee pointed out that I was the same ethnicity as Cheater Chaz, he claimed that I am one of those people who hate my own race.
And Cheater Chaz is not the only one to behave in such a manner. It seems that more and more, when students feel unfairly picked on or are called out for being flat-out wrong or for behaving in completely inappropriate ways (like Sally phone-a-thon who tried to talk to her boyfriend back home during my lecture), they choose to retaliate by accusing the professor of some egregious crime that is simply a way to 'get back at' the professor.
Somehow, I think the definition of racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and any other form of discrimination has shifted to suit the needs of any disgruntled student who feels as if they haven't been able to manipulate the professor.
And people wonder why I've lost my love of teaching; why I come armed with a notebook in which to record any 'incident' that may turn into a complaint; why I no longer recommend that they, too, become professors; why I am looking for a job that will take me far away from wretched, entitled creeps who belittle others with no regard for their false accusations. When is the misery too much to continue?