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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Cheating reflects lifestyle

In a crowded hallway, a student sits with two copies of the same worksheet; one blank and the other complete, frantically scribbling down the semi-legible answers while some friends laugh, help or join in.

Josephson Institute of Ethic?s surveyed 36,122 U.S. high school students and 61% have cheated on an exam within the past year (Parade Magazine, Oct. 15., 2006).

?I don?t cheat often,? a junior who wishes to remain anonymous, said. ?When I do, it is when I didn?t understand the material we?re studying in class and I don?t want my grade to drop.?

Less than 2% of cheaters are actually caught, but only half are punished (Parade Magazine).

?Some of my friends are very open about cheating,? Natalie McCallum, ?09, said. ?Some even seem proud about it but I always encourage them to study and not cheat. I don?t like tattling, even if people are trying to right a wrong. If I were to tattle, I would do it to someone I didn?t like.?

Several websites offer free information and essays on books and popular stories intended to assist students as they read literature. Some students abuse this aid, though, by plagiarizing the free essays.

?Instead of reading the assigned chapter for English, I go on to SparkNotes,? a freshman who wishes to remain anonymous, said. ?It has enough information so that I can pass most of the quizzes. I?ve even looked into the free essays online, but was uninterested in them because you have to pay.?

The majority of cheating done by teens relates to their education, but on certain occasions it carries over to relationships.

?I?ve been cheated on,? Ryan Brunn, ?08, said. ?I hated how it felt. My ex-girlfriend finally told me after we broke up, but the whole time my friends were telling me she was cheating on me.?

The Institute then expanded their survey to include stealing. Just over 28% of adolescents have stolen from a store, and 23% have stolen from a parent or relative (Parade Magazine, Oct. 15, 2006).

?I?ve stolen because my friends were pressuring me,? a junior who wishes to remain anonymous, said. ?I?ve stolen pretty big things up to $40 worth. I have money but I just do it for a thrill and also because I want it. When my parents ask where I got those things I just say ?a friend gave it to me?. I?ve stolen from parents, siblings, and friends and I don?t feel guilty.?

Guilt seems to affect the conscience of many who steal and/or cheat which leads to a confession.

?The first time I ever cheated was the time I got caught,? McCallum said. ?Ever since then, I?ve promised myself I wouldn?t become that kid that is known as the cheater. It?s hard to not cheat since it?s so easy and effective. I felt so guilty afterwards I confessed to the teacher. Later, I was given the honesty award.?

Although some have cheated in the past for immediate satisfaction, it does not appear to be a long-term solution.

?I know I won?t be able to depend on people for assignments when I?m in college,? a junior who wishes to remain anonymous, said. ?I?ll have to change my habits.?

Cheating represents a lifestyle choice, which can be changed through self-desire.

?I don?t think the copying homework is wrong,? a junior who wishes to remain anonymous, said. ?I?m only getting ?help?. It?s just who I am and I?m not planning on changing any time soon.?

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  • B

    Bekah WellsSep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    That just goes to show you how tough soccer is. You cant back down because your mark is twice your size. (And I think Sean [Jay-Z] won that ball, too).

    Reply