When students’ papers are submitted to Turnitin, the widely used online plagiarism-detection service, they become part of a database against which all future submissions are checked. That database makes Turnitin an effective tool—but it has also raised concerns among students whose papers are going in the company’s permanent file.
At McLean High School, in Virginia, students collected more than 1,100 signatures on a petition opposing mandatory use of the service, according The Washington Post. The anti-Turnitin faction argues that the database violates students’ intellectual-property rights. And the high school’s use of Turnitin creates the sense that students are guilty until proved innocent, says Ben Donovan, a senior at McLean. "It’s like if you searched every car in the parking lot or drug-tested every student," he says.
Officials with the high school and with Turnitin say the company is careful to respect students’ intellectual-property rights. —Brock ReadReturn to Top