Dear cheaters: a student reacts to the cheating crisis

I would like to dedicate this to the liars, thieves, and sneaks that are my classmates and familiar faces. Attention all cheaters, two years ago my world turned up-side down when I heard about your presence on campus, and two years later nothing has changed except your numbers have grown bigger and your success stories are more repulsive.

According to surveys in U.S. News and World Report 80 percent of high achieving high students admit to cheating, 51 percent of high school students do not believe cheating was wrong, and 95 percent of high school students said they never got caught cheating.

The reality is the highest scoring kids are among the most frequent cheaters. School is no longer about learning anything, but more about learning the system. With the curve system everyone’s scores are directly affected by how other students perform. So, whether honest students like it or not, cheaters are directly affecting everyone’s performance.

Human beings need rules. The school’s hesitation to stop cheating has created an environment of disrespect and hypocrisy in our commitment. Just like society not only needs, but also depends upon rules for survival, private institutions are no different. Drivers follow traffic lights and rules of the road and not for their safety, but because of fear of getting caught and paying for high tickets. Thus, the lack of a serious fear of punishment has caused students to feel no hesitation to cheat.

In fact the current classroom environment directly fosters cheating. Caught up with the shiny outside, we disregard the problems in the classroom. Is allowing a student to cheat his or her way to a top schools worth sending them out to the real world with these ethics where they then repeat these patterns in the universities, research centers and work forces. Does people want to rely on doctors, lawyers, bankers, and teachers who cheated their way to their professions?

We are the teenagers of today, but the adults of tomorrow. We are supposed to be becoming the best possible adults for our future, but learning that cheating and lying are okay does not really make the best adults.

Americans take pride in the value of integrity and honesty. Every day we witness no tolerance for cheating in the adult world. Businesses like Enron, to figures like Marta Stewart, authors like James Frey, and journalists like Brian Williams all fell due to cheating. The real world has consequences for cheating.

Education is at a serious risk now that cheating has become so commonplace. When the majority is cheating where does the future of learning stand?

Teachers need to be more aware. In addition to standing up for the utter disrespect and betrayal a student reflects when cheating, they need to implement change in the classroom; they have a moral obligation and duty to take action, to teach that cheating is wrong.

Buckley needs to accept that cheating is happening behind closed classrooms, voice a strong disapproval of it, and have a zero tolerance policy.

If we cannot control the students behavior teachers must respond to it whenever it occurs. Teachers cannot “look the other way”.

I am putting myself at a disadvantage every day by not cheating. I am allowing my competition to soar by me, but I cannot say I regret this. Confidently saying that my grades reflect my ability and my ability is worth more than anything. In the end the true acceptance of inner-success as equal to outer-success is necessary. Finding inner success is not only the best way to enjoy life, but the easiest. To feel that your integrity, honesty, and discipline reflect your academic ability is true success that cannot be measured on the GPA scale.