Hunter Hood

Academic Dishonesty is a Slippery Slope for Many

How do you cheat in school?

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Academic dishonesty, or cheating, is a massive problem in schools, and it’s one problem that schools can’t seem to solve. Cheating always makes its way past new rules, as it’s not a problem that can be fixed with school rules. It is a problem that has to be fixed on an individual level.

Cheating is easy to start and works much like an addiction, as work in earlier grades is easy. Students don’t think they are cheating themselves. Later on, cheating remains easy and is relied on constantly. Students may not realize that because of cheating they are cheating themselves out of an education they might need later on in life.

“The first time I remember cheating was probably in first grade,” Chad Bradley, Canton student, said.

Cheating starts off early with most students, as cheating is common practice with students of all age groups. Cheating over time has evolved to become easier too. Finding answers is as easy as one Google search, meaning students no longer have to look over someone’s shoulder and peek at their paper to get answers. Chromebooks, smart-phones, smart-watches, and online browsers have given cheating a whole new and higher-tech spin on cheating which can be easily learned.

“I sometimes Google the answers if I’m really desperate or if I have no idea what I’m doing,” Brad Chadley, Canton student, said.

Work gets progressively harder as students move up through the grades, and more work is needed to finish both schoolwork and homework. For someone to just copy the answers down and not struggle at all tends to make those who do the work angry. Many students do not like it when they put up with a late night of homework only to go to school the next day and for it to be copied in an instant by someone or to know that it had been looked up instantly online and plagiarized.

Some students gladly give away their work for their friends to copy, however. These students are typically highly trusted when it comes to working on specific or all topics. Many of these students give their work to friends they care about and want to help.

“Usually I ask someone else for the answers because I don’t really trust the internet,” Tommy Smith, Canton student, said.

Other students, however, make a business of cheating. Charging people money to do their work, these students have given cheating their own twist. Some were tired of giving away answers for free and wanted something for their “good” deed, and the solution to that is charging money for their work.

“I made like twenty dollars last hour doing two papers, so like yeah it’s worth it,” Bill Rye, Canton student, said.

This solution may seem like a good one, as it benefits both parties, but cheating is still cheating. Further on into the future some of the topics that were passed by cheating might become important, and not knowing how to do them could destroy a chance at someone’s future. Even students cheated and regret their decisions to this day.

“Biggest mistake ever, I 100% cheated my way through Algebra I and II in high school. I mean I never made a mark on a homework assignment, and I cheated on every test. You think I got along in College Algebra? Not even a little. Oh! Chemistry kicked my butt too. I almost flunked out of college because of cheating in high school,” KB, Canton teacher, said.

These students also don’t know that many teachers know they are cheating. When a student has a D letter grade and suddenly starts writing on a college level, most teachers can tell something fishy is going on.

“It’s pretty easy to figure it out,” Tiger T, Canton teacher, said.

There are also many online websites and programs that work towards finding any trace of plagiarism, which isn’t good for the cheater, but sometimes these programs don’t work. Many programs are popping up to help stop online cheating, but most are not very effective. Even though some websites might not work, teachers can usually just tell when students are cheating, as teachers were once students too.

“It doesn’t take me long to be able to recognize a student’s writing just as I recognize his or her voice. Often I am reading along on a student’s paper and, wham! He/She suddenly has a mistake-free, college-level vocabulary. Also, there are plagiarism checkers online if I don’t catch it by just pasting it into Google,” KB, Canton Teacher, said.

Cheating is a major problem and needs to be handled by schools. Whether it be more severe consequences or a better way of tracking down on cheaters, the problem needs to be handled.

*Names have been changed for students’ and teachers’ privacy.

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