Cheating is tricky. It exists everywhere, yet the people that do it seem to never face any consequences. It’s frustrating to know that the same time and effort that you spend on an assignment, project, etc., another person is bypassing because they are cheating and eventually achieve the same outcome… or better.
It isn’t fair, but then again when has life been fair? The people that don’t cheat see everyone else cheating and think to themselves that if those people aren’t getting caught, then maybe if they themselves cheat they won’t be either. Then the huge cycle of cheating begins where everyone cheats and everyone points fingers.
I think most of you know what has caused me to bring this up. This past week, an article was run by the San Jose Mercury News about a Sequoia High School sophomore and his parents that are suing the district for kicking him out of ICAP English (International College Advancement Program) for copying an assignment.
Should the student's father have sued the school district over the punishment? Vote in .
When a student passes this course, they will typically move on to be involved with the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. This program has a “zero tolerance” policy for cheating and at the beginning of the year all ICAP and IB students sign an Academic Honestly Pledge for all of their honors classes.
This article has 1,173 Facebook recommends and 191 comments (so far). When scanning the comment thread, I recognize the names of many parents, alumni, and current Sequoia students. I read and saw the discussion people are having about his parents, the school, and what further action should be taken.
One alumnus commented, “I think the sad part about this article is that today's society puts such an emphasis on good grades, test scores, and being accepted to a prestigious school, that a student would turn to cheating. Older commenters might not know this omnipresent pressure that current students have to get into college, with budget cuts, and as more and more schools are being impacted. And can you honestly tell me you never asked to see a problem on someone's homework?”
I have written before about . A lot of us think that because everyone else is cheating their way to the top, there is no way that we can ever get there ourselves since everyone else has a leg up.
Recently, when talking to my teacher about this issue, she explained to me that I didn’t need to get the highest grades, the best GPA, or be a “grade grubber” in order to get into the best college. She told me that my character and integrity will be what gets me in, not straight A’s. She explained to me that the teachers can tell who is in it because they want to learn versus who is in it just to get into a big-name school.
She told me that my letters of recommendation will help me, and that I will end up in the place that I need to be because of who I am, not just what my grades say about me.
Another commenter wrote, “It gets better. His lawyer dad is doing it for the ‘other kids’ - apparently making the world safe for the other cheating weasels. What a noble act.”
I can only wonder, what “other” kids? Cheating is horrible, and it isn’t something a “one man show” can fix… and then again it can never be fully fixed. Cheating is a problem, but it will always be a part of the school and work environment no matter how hard we try to abolish it. Why you may ask? Because there will always be that one kid or adult who asks to see the math homework.
I have English first period. Our tests and quizzes are based solely upon our assigned reading and occasionally reflect on grammar. As soon as I walk out of class, people ask me how the test was. It is an innocent question. It’s simple, like a multiple-choice problem. You can choose:
A. It was easy, but make sure and read chapter four over again.
B. It was okay if you studied.
C. It was hard.
D. Well the first answer was A, the next was (I’m pretty sure) D, and then there were about four consecutive B’s before this really hard question… but I’m sure you’ll do great, especially because I just told you the whole test.
Don’t choose D.
“This program is designed for bright, honest students who deserve to be there. What terrible parents. This student was awarded a place with serious students. He flagrantly disobeyed the rules. What ever happened to discipline - and why doesn't this boy’s parent think he deserves it,” another commenter wrote. “He may be special to mommy and daddy, but he is a cheating student. Shame, shame, shame on the parents.”
It isn’t so much the fact that these parents are hounding after the district that matters, but the fact that on a national level, cheating is being addressed.
Cheating will never be black and white. There will be scandals where one person’s act will be seen as far worse than another which will reflect in their punishment and so on and so forth. However, it will always exist and be seen to be a vile act that is not to be participated in.
So kids, don’t cheat. The end isn’t bright.
Want to get updates from high school life all week long? Follow Laurel Dearborn on Twitter at @LivingAsLaurel.
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