It has been brought to our attention, and we have confirmed, that a high school student from Oregon submitted to The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards a painting that she now acknowledges was copied from another artist, Wenqing Yan. The student has apologized to the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and her National Gold Medal and American Visions Award have been revoked. She is no longer considered a Scholastic Award winner. The work will not appear in our publications and the painting was removed from our online galleries. Contrary to information posted online by commenters on various sites, this student received no monetary prize from our program.
Plagiarism is antithetical to the core values of The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and as an organization, we take a tough stand on plagiarism. We work closely with parents and teachers to help students understand the ethical and legal implications of plagiarism. Because of the number of submissions we receive, it is impossible for us to absolutely verify the originality of each entry, but we consider this to have been an isolated episode. Students who submit to the awards are required to sign a consent form that confirms the originality of their work. In addition, our guidelines clearly state that [by] applying to The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, each student undertakes to (a) present original work that (i) has been created by her or himself and (ii) does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any other individual or entity We share our fans concern over this matter and take such issues very seriously. The student is well aware of the seriousness of this issue and has expressed her deep regret.
We encourage concerned observers to remember that the student involved has acknowledged that she has made a mistake, and to think about the effects that statements posted online may have. We also encourage parents to talk to their children about cyber-bullying and to read available resources on safe social networking on the Federal Trade Commissions website at [link]
We will shortly be announcing another student who will be honored with the American Visions Award for 2010.