Cheating in the eyes of beholder

Lesley Wright, Opinions Editor

As English teacher Nancy Gray lectures her class on the values of writing, one student sits at his desk after an unsuccessful attempt at cheating and ponders his recently shredded math homework.

“The student was copying math homework during class and saw me put it through the shredder, but he still came up to me after class and asked if he could have it back,” Gray said.

Students know that cheating is a violation against the honor code, but do they know exactly which actions constitute cheating?

“I would consider using an unfair advantage, sometimes dishonestly, to get a better grade on an assignment, test, or quiz to be cheating,” Assistant Principal Jim Melia said.

According to the school honor code that every student signs each year at registration, cheating includes “taking, stealing, copying and/or using an assignment from someone else and submitting it as one’s own.” And with all of the various forms of tools available to students, cheating is now effortless to get away with, according to middle school science teacher Ami McCormick.

“Technology makes it a lot easier to cheat because all of the answers are at your fingertips,” McCormick said. “Yet the largest forms of cheating seem to occur far away from technology.”

“Copying homework before school in the cafeteria is the most common form of cheating I see,” Melia said. “We’ve also seen cheat sheets and some students were even caught stealing exams out of teachers’ rooms.”

Nevertheless the most controversial cheating violation found within the honor code is the line that reads, “discussing a test or quiz with students who have not completed the assignment.” Though conversing with friends about a mind-boggling test or quiz is considered cheating from the administration’s point of view, junior Kimberly Baylen is unaware that this is breaking the honor code.

“I don’t think talking between classes about a test is cheating because you’re not telling your friends the answers,” Baylen said. “You’re just giving them a heads up so they can be refreshed on the material before the test.”