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    An Argument for Less Severe Punishments for Cheating in School

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    Cheating in school should have fewer punishments. Cheating is an easy way in terms of getting homework, tests, and assignments done in a quick way. Cheating can be wrong, but also effective from various perspectives. A 2019 national survey found that four out of five top students admitted to cheating at some point in their life. Getting reproached for cheating can lead to severe punishments from the school board. Society has always focused solely on how horrible it is to cheat, but it has never been acknowledged the pressure that leads students to cheat ultimately.

    For instance, if the student is caught cheating on a test or classwork, the teacher will fail the student, and failure of an exam will have an immutable impact on a student’s grade. “Students cheating in school can have serious impacts” (Walker 1). Given that students get pressured to study, especially when they have extracurricular activities and most kids don’t have enough time to study for a test, instead of suspending kids or giving zeros for cheating teachers could give them another option like letting them retake the quiz under supervision. Cheating in school can be unfair, but also helpful to most students.

    “As far as there is high motivation for cheating, look around us,” said Charlie Ostlund, principal of Oakton High School in Fairfax County. This is relevant to my argument because it is showing how anyone can agree including teachers that cheating doesn’t always have to be seen as a bad thing. According to many studies, between 80 and 95 percent of high school students admitted to cheating at least once in the past year and 75 percent admitted to cheating four or more times. ”

    One of the biggest misconceptions, however, is that it is only these are struggling students who cheat” (Walker 2). Many studies have shown that the highest achieving students cheat almost as much as other students. “2012 cheating scandal at high-achieving Stuyvesant High School in New York City confirms that academic dishonesty is rampant and touches even the most prestigious of schools” (Simmons 2).

    Some people believe that greater diligence and more severe punishments are solutions to students cheating. These tactics are likely to reduce cheating—and that is certainly a worthwhile goal-but they won’t touch the causes that lead to cheating. According to the article “What Can Be Done About Student Cheating” states that “Students cheat for a number of reasons. They cheat because everybody else is doing it, they cheat because they have too much work to do and not enough time to do it. They’re under pressure and they see cheating around them everywhere.”

    In order to help reduce cheating, schools need to change the culture that accepts cheating. “Teachers care about cheating because it’s not fair that students get good grades but didn’t follow the teacher’s rules” (Goldman 4). Fear of being punished for low test scores can also lead to a culture of cheating. If administrators precisely understood this model of cheating, they would be able to address it more effectively. Administrators should think about cheating students as participants in a broken system, which ought to be fixed for the benefit of all students. “Student cheating has taken on many new forms” “It’s not just wandering eyes or notes copied on a hand, and technology certainly provides more opportunities without a doubt- plagiarizing from the Internet, using cell phones during tests” (Walker 25).

    Cheating in school has become much more common today. Cheating, in my opinion, has become much more eloquent when students have access to various websites. Cheating in school can rise to the point where it can become a legal violation. “For example, a student who exchanges someone else’s paper and then uses them in their published paper has committed copyright infringement” (Thompson 3).

    Cheating may seem like it will lead to a small consequence, but once done it can lead to serious circumstances. For instance, many parents such as Lori Loughlin are getting jail time because they have paid someone to take the test for their kids to pass the exams. Some schools impose harsh disciplinary penalties on students who cheat, particularly if the cheating was very outrageous or the student has been caught cheating before. “Students might be placed on academic probation and have their work carefully monitored” (Thompson 4). The normal punishment for cheating is a grade of zero for the work/test you cheated on. This is the first argument as to why cheating in school should be less severe.

    Public schools should start teaching in elementary school that cheating is bad. If schools had taught students earlier and were more strict about cheating, the statistics might decrease. If the cheating went down, it would be easier to learn since students would not be focusing on getting caught and getting in trouble. Cheating often goes on a student’s transcript and this can interfere with their ability to transfer to a new school. “Even if a professor takes no formal disciplinary action, if other people know about the cheating, it can taint a student’s reputation and cause people to question her work” (Thompson 6).

    The way a school board decides to handle students who cheat may also contribute to cheating. Many schools and teachers do not invest time investigating incidents of cheating and students continue to cheat because they can get away with it. Some schools will punish cheaters, but the punishment is often severe enough to discourage others from cheating. The seriousness of the penalty often depends on the severity of the cheating. “A student who inadvertently plagiarized, for example, might just get a failing grade on a paper, while a student caught deliberately cheating on an exam might fail the class” (Thompson 2).

    In the majority of schools, the only penalty for cheating is being given a grade of zero. Moreover, prior to the student being punished for cheating, the educator has to prove this, which is hard to do and ensure. Since these are the rules, the teacher becomes reluctant to accuse cheaters among the students in the class. Teachers are compulsory to take note of the student’s information about the misconduct and get approval during open hearings, they are hesitant to give punishment.

    Today’s world of easy access to almost any kind of information can lend itself to serious problems of cheating and plagiarism among students. The temptation to “grab” information from Web sites and use it in a paper as their own is pervasive. “According to the authors, educators, librarians, and parents must find a way to deal with this issue if it’s going to be turned around in a positive manner” (Reese 2).

    In another nationwide study, nine out of ten high school teachers acknowledged cheating is a problem in their school. These are the reasons for my second argument of this essay. As explained, cheating in school should have fewer punishments. Administrators should focus on punishing students for breaking other rules than focusing on students who cheat.

    Cheating is a way to survive for kids who have been struggling in school. If a student completely does not understand the information they are being tested over, there is not much they can do. Cheating in school is an easier way of getting homework done and can be beneficial. If cheating in school has more punishments then needed it could massively affect a student’s career.

    Works Cited

    • “Why Students Cheat-and What to Do About It.” Edutopia, Andrew Simmons, 27 Apr. 2018, Accessed 29 Jan. 2020.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    An Argument for Less Severe Punishments for Cheating in School. (2022, Dec 22). Retrieved from

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