Open Your Eyes: Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater

By Stephanie Cochrane Posted December 17, 2008

I’m sitting in one of my classes at Lowry and I’ve just finished a test. My eyes wander around the room in innocent boredom, and I see some classmates cautiously glancing down at study guides or forbidden notes. I am a little repulsed by the fact that students that put half the effort into studying as I do are going to receive a grade equal to or better than mine. But, because it is a typical scene, I ignore the ethical lines I am crossing for not reporting them, and the lines they cross by cheating.

The Josephson Institute’s 2008 Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth, a Los Angeles-based organization, said the teenagers’ responses to questions about lying, stealing, and cheating “reveals entrenched habits of dishonesty for the workforce of the future.”

The study shows that American teens lie, steal and cheat at alarming rates. The 30,000 students surveyed illustrated that boys lie and steal more than girls; but in public schools, the rate of cheating is about equal at 47%. More disturbing than that is, that 93% of the students indicated satisfaction with their own character and ethics.

When did it become morally alright to lie, cheat, and steal? It seems to be something embedded in American culture. Students don’t think twice about cheating because it has been practiced for so long.

Cheating leads to dishonest habits in student’s futures, as recent news would show. Usatoday.com featured the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, which resulted from allegedly auctioning President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. This shows that corruption and dishonesty lie in all of America’s crevices.

Cheating teens grow up to be lying adults; it’s your future so choose your actions wisely. America complains that its government is corrupt, yet it doesn’t enforce the immorality of lying, cheating, and stealing enough. If students can get away with cheating in school, why wouldn’t they later in life?

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