Impacts of Cheating in High Schools

Gwen Clark, Writer

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Cheating is an issue that affects many high schools, including Washburn Rural. Normally, students cheat to try to get a better score on an assignment to raise their grade, even if it isn’t their own work. Teachers often try to help students understand that they shouldn’t cheat just because it’s wrong, but it also affects how a student can learn. If a student copies and cheats off of other students work for every assignment, they don’t learn the material themselves. This can affect their more important scores, such as standardized tests.

According to a survey done by The Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics, 51% of students in high school admitted that they had cheated on a test during the past school year. The survey included 23,000 students in public and private high schools. 74% of these students admitted to copying other students homework at least once. When a student cheats, they are not only lying to their teachers, but they are limiting their personal learning.

I have noticed my teachers using different methods to avoid opportunities for students to cheat. Many of my teachers make different versions of tests to stop students from sharing answers and copying off of someone who sits next to them. During tests and in-class assignments, some of my teachers have their class put all devices away, and they have very strict phone rules. A few of my other teachers have no rules for devices, which causes distractions during class everyday and provides more opportunities for a student to cheat.

In our school’s Student Handbook the Academic Integrity Policy is stated. These rules are also presented by advisory teachers at the start of each school year. The consequences at our school are based off of a three level system. The first level of consequences are for cheating on a minor assignment or independent homework, the second level is for cheating on a major assignment, such as a test or quiz, and the third level is for repeated violations, attempting to change a grade, or stealing and photographing a major exam. Consequences of these levels can include revoked privileges for school activities and awards, reduced scores, and no credit for a certain class.

Even if a student thinks they don’t have enough time or knowledge to complete an assignment or test, it is better if they understand the material and do their own work. When students complete and submit their own work and hold themselves and others accountable, everyone has the chance to learn fairly.

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