The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

Cheaters never win

We’ve all done it. It would be a lie to say we haven’t. It is absolutely astounding how indifferent to cheating students have become. We hear all the time, “Hey, how was that test?  I have it next period, what’s on it?” The detailed answers that students give out are equally astounding.

Central expects a lot from its students and anticipates that those who cheat will only do so rarely. But, we all know that this isn’t true. Many students’ academic successes are gained by cheating. This is paradox:  this school is known for its academic excellence, yet this excellence is dubious, or suspect.

Our opinion is that we should be more selfish to enhance the credibility of our excellence. We should keep our test answers to ourselves. In reality, helping someone cheat benefits the cheater accademically and carries no benefits for the person supplying the answers. In fact, it harms this student because the student who received the answers gets the better grade.The pressure we are facing from our peers to share answers on a test is out of hand. It is ridiculous that students feel compelled to cheat because of this growing phenomenon.

Students do not consider it unethical to tell other students what’s on a test after they have taken it. Cheating no longer carries the stigma that it used to. The lack of fellow student disapproval, coupled with increased competition to succeed, has made students more willing to do whatever it takes to get the A. According to The Center For Academic Integrity, the honest truth is that “while about 20 percent of college students admitted to cheating in high school during the 1940s, today between 75 percent and 98 percent of college students surveyed each year report having cheated in high school.”

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Cheating is not as big of a deal as people have made it out to be in the past. Although this should by no means be condoned, it’s just a matter of fact, and the administration and teachers should understand that no matter how long the cheating section is in the student handbook, it will not change the prevalence of its occurrence.

Frankly, there’s a good chance that a student won’t think twice about cheating. The only time that many cheaters regret cheating is when they are caught.

Since elementary school, we have been pounded over the head with the same reasons for not cheating like how it is immoral and wrong. This has been an unsuccessful deterrent. We suggest that students begin to think about cheating differently. In reality, the students whom we feel so comfortable sharing answers with are the students who are competing with us for a bigger and brighter future. Helping our peers in this dishonest way can result in an increase in their GPA, leading to their acceptance into a higher ranked university, and maybe, eventually, a higher paying job.

Catherine Eberwein, sophomore, has never thought about the future consequences of cheating. “When students ask me what is on a test I had already taken in a prior period, I tell them to some extent because I don’t want to look like a bad person  [for not giving the answer].”Eberwein’s statement is a reflection of how skewed our thinking about cheating is.

In the grand scheme of things, school administrators have failed to stop cheating. But, once students start to view their classmate as competition in this academic game they’re playing, the perspective changes. After all, jobs and resources in this economically unstable country are becoming scarce, so let’s not allow our peers to ride on the coattails of our success.

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