Can a proctor follow a student to the bathroom while on a break demanding to search her bag?

A proctor from Barry university in Miami Florida accuses me of cheating after I refuse to let her search my bag in the bathroom while I was still on my break time, now the University Dean and the program director is forcing me to retake the exam because of her allegations/lies. It's a comprehensive exam required for my master's degree in biomedical science. They are holding a meeting with me, and the program director on Feb 23,2010 to determine the next steps. The Dean emailed me and say this: "My purpose for speaking with you on Tuesday will be to determine our next steps, given that you did not comply with the instructions for testing. We will not focus on cheating, but on the procedures surrounding test taking. If you have any desire to re-take the candidacy exam, which I understand you need in order to graduate, then I would strongly encourage you to attend this meeting. It will not be a formal hearing, as no formal charges against you for cheating have been filed - as yet."

They have no official charges against me yet but still want to meet with me to determine the next steps. I have not confirmed my attendance yet, should I go with a lawyer to that meeting? I am afraid they might try to incriminate me and find something to create formal charges against me. please help I have a 3.7 GPA with no prior history of cheating, no disciplinary action ever.

2 Answers

  • CoachT
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    They're telling you that there's some testing rule that's published that you failed to follow. It could be that you agreed to a search of your materials you brought with you or that your bag wasn't supposed to be permitted in the room at all. Consent to search of materials is not an uncommon testing requirement.

    If the proctor accused you of cheating then you need to inform the Dean that an accusation was in fact made - that this then is not an informal hearing because of the accusation of the proctor unless he's vacating that accusation. The Dean is saying that he hasn't accepted the proctor's accusation of cheating but is tending toward invalidating the exam for a testing process irregularity when he says "given that you did not comply with the instructions for testing."

    It's very possible that you did follow all of the instructions for testing and that the proctor overstepped her bounds. In that case then the Dean should find in your favor. If you did violate the testing rules (even if not intentional) then he would be correct in invalidating your exam. In that case you should be as cooperative as possible so that they allow you to retest.

    I suspect that if you show up with an attorney that he will immediately cancel the meeting and reschedule it as a formal hearing with the university counsel present - you don't want to escalate to that level yet. You do want to ask your advisor (or some other trusted faculty member) to attend with you.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Each college has its own version of Academic Honesty rules, so it is quite possible that by their Student Code of Conduct you broke a rule by leaving the exam and not allowing the proctor to search your bag. They could have a very good case against you for that. Yes, by US law you do not have to allow yourself to be searched but you looked shady by denying it and according to their regulations you could have broken a rule.

    Be extremely cautious with this meeting. Your background regarding your GPA and clean history is a postive for you.

    However, the meeting could go well or go ugly depending on your Dean. Be extremely prepared for something confrontational and prepare all your reasonings for why you did what you did. Dress business professional.

    I doubt a lawyer is needed-- Bringing one would only make you seem guilty and a lawyer cannot do anything, really, since it is not a legal case.

    Read over your Student Code of Conduct and see if it says anything about what your proctor did.

    Best of luck.

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