Cheating in School Essay Sample

In her article, “School Cheating Scandal Tests a Town’s Values,” Jodie Walgaren tells about how ruffly 30 out of the 118 students, that attended Piper high-school, cheated on a project they had to complete on Botany. After further investigation done by Rutgers University, it was proven that of 4,471 students, over half had incorporated stolen sentences in their papers, 15% completely copied something off the internet, and 74% had cheated on a test. This shows just how bad plagiarism is becoming. When confronted with the information gathered, students at Piper denied cheating and got their parents involved. The parents thought that the students were innocent and didn’t understand what they were doing was wrong and that plagiarism rules were not written in stone.Parents also argued that the students deserved a second chance, and that failing the students was too harsh of punishment. Furthermore, parents said that this would hurt the school's reputation and opportunity for students to obtain scholarships.

Therefore, the teacher who assigned the project, was directed by the school board to only deduct 600 points out of the 1500 and lower the overall value to 30% rather than 50%, so the students would not fail. Because of the issue, over half of the staff at Piper would be resigning at the end of the year. The issue caused the Town and the school to have a controversy over what was morally-as well as educationally-right. The teachers felt like they had given the students fair warning by making them and their parents sign a slip stating that plagiarism would be prohibited and result in failing the course.

These students had been taught not to plagiarize and how to correctly cite a source since the 4th grade. But the consequences for the ordeal was also highly considered. The students could lose scholarship opportunities, job opportunities, and the school was viewed badly. The consequences for the parents was that their students may not receive scholarship opportunities causing them to have to pay more for their students college tuition. The teachers felt like they were being pressured into doing things they did not believe was fair or right as well as teachers were deciding to resign at the end of the year, and the school board was at a major controversy of what they should do. Should they make the parents happy by dismissing the matter and letting the students off with a warning so that parents would continue to fund the school, or should they stick to the principles their school was founded on.

If I was part of the school board, I would have advocated to stick to the principle that plagiarism was wrong and should be punished at the teacher’s discretion. I would probably lose funding from the parents, but it would be worth it in the end, because I would be helping the students in the long run by teaching them that their actions do have consequences. I would not change any of my answers plagiarism attitude scale because I always have and always will think that claiming someone's work as your own is just wrong. I still question why it would be such a controversial matter because in the end it boils down to a matter of right and wrong.


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