I try very hard to be creative on my own terms. If I learn something in a class I usually manipulate the product to my own way, yet I still will say-Yes, this is based off of... I think I'm developing a true resentment of those who steal ideas from others and market it as their own. They may have made it, but if it were not for the teacher giving them every step down to the tiniest detail, they wouldnt be able to glue a postage stamp to an envelope.
Sorry if this offends, but I'm tired and really irritated by this. Dear art teacher-Hang in there. You shouldn't have to put up with these type of people. Copying might be the biggest form of flattery but there are guidelines that any respectable person follows and these have been surpassed to say the least.