Consequeces of Cheating

“Two down slips and you’re off the team.” “Flunk that class and you don’t graduate.” Get a “B” and your parents are disappointed. These pressures are real and many students take what they see as the easy way out, for some it is the only way out. Cheating is wrong and everybody knows that. However, both students and teachers generally turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the dilemma. It’s easier to do nothing than to confront this epidemic. I believe that grades as a whole are creating this addiction to cheating. I believe that our whole grading system needs revision.
Last year’s Valedictorian was “cream-of-the-crop”. She was in National Honor Society, Student Council and was even the Homecoming Queen. She received all A’s in high school. In her first semester of college, she failed every single class. She attempted suicide and is now on anti-depression medication. She couldn’t make it in college because she had cheated her way through high school. Pressure to succeed was overwhelming. Was it her fault for using the crutch of cheating, her teacher’s fault or the grading system’s fault? Is it society’s fault? It’s probably somewhere in that combination, but cheating is the disease that put her where she is now.
I believe that there are few options to control this epidemic. It will take commitment and time. The concept of “Choices and Consequences” must be drilled into children’s minds at a very young age. Every one who influences the child-from the parents to the community members and even the media-must teach (and live) values. Teachers and other role models must enforce the fact that cheating is wrong and violators should have a price to pay. Finally, is the whole concept of grades and competition for “#1” really necessary? Isn’t there some other way?