Lincoln High School Statesman

Slader controversy brings grief, heartbreak

High schools across the nation reel from the impacts of a devastating mistake

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Slader controversy brings grief, heartbreak

This assignment is one of many that are destroying the grades of children everywhere

This assignment is one of many that are destroying the grades of children everywhere

Photo provided by an anonymous student

This assignment is one of many that are destroying the grades of children everywhere

Photo provided by an anonymous student

Photo provided by an anonymous student

This assignment is one of many that are destroying the grades of children everywhere

Slater Dixon, Staff Writer

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As school authorities sift through the heartbreaking wreckage, one thing is for sure: This is a tragedy that will never be forgotten. There is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the controversy, and a statement by Slader.com released this morning seems to only lead to more questions.

“We are deeply grieved by the students who were affected by this incident, and we are trying our hardest to ease their pain,” said Slader.com. “What we understand at this moment is that one of our employees mistakenly downloaded a copy of Gotye’s hit song “Somebody That I Used to Know” onto our servers. The audio of the song was converted into text, which then replaced the data for every answer we had on file. It has come to our attention that many students across the country continued to copy these answers as their math homework, and turned them in for a grade.”

One such student is LHS sophomore Stephen Kearin. Now that he has gotten zeroes on several assignments, he is going to have to get a 98 percent on his semester test in order to get an A in Accelerated Algebra II. However, grades are only part of the pain.

“It’s hard to not blame myself. I feel foolish for copying the lyrics of a dumb song instead of numbers, especially when I remember actually turning it in. I just have to remember that none of this is my fault,” said Kearin. “I may be able to salvage my grade, but that’s not what is really important here. I do not think I will ever overcome the trauma of this experience. Slader’s mistake has destroyed me.”

The Statesman contacted Slader.com for a response to the sentiments expressed by many students, including Kearin. Public Relations representative Mike Mitchell responded in a brief e-mail.

“We are beginning to learn what the impact of our decisions has been. This is not easy for any of us,” said Mitchell. “We are doing everything we can.”

For many parties involved, however, “everything” simply is not enough. After the sadness has come distinct outrage, especially from parents, some of whom have never parented a child who has received a B.

“This website has destroyed my son’s prospects. The scar of their gross negligence will never heal,” said one mother at a protest brunch held on Saturday. “Their disgusting affinity for melancholy modern-pop bops has marred my perspective of the world.”


Note: Textbook manufacturer Pearson was asked for a statement regarding this controversy. They offered no response except “We’ve been making teachers, administrators and students feel hopeless for years, and you have never covered us before.”

Author
Slater Dixon, Perspectives editor

Slater Dixon is a junior and a first-time staff member of the Statesman. Slater enjoys sharing the true meaning of Christmas and running, especially when...

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