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When Cheating is Easier than Making the Grade

In a survey of 100 EHS students, almost half admit to cheating

Emma Sanders, Copy Editor

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Every since we begin our academic journey, we are told not to cheat by parents, teachers, and advisors. Clearly we know that cheating is morally wrong and does not benefit us in the long run, so why does cheating in high school continue to be rampant and, many times, without adequate consequences?

Erie senior Hunter Miller wondered the same thing. So when he was given an opportunity to create a project with no limits for his AP Capstone project, Miller chose the topic of cheating at Erie High School.

Emma Sanders
Hunter Miller

When asked why he chose such a broad and ambiguous topic, Miller exclaimed “In my AP classes during a quiz, I look to the left and see ten people cheating, then I look to the right and see another ten!”

The base of Miller’s project was a survey conducted by himself, in which we interviewed 100 students of all grades at Erie High School. Miller defined cheating as “Having information on any test or quiz that you should not have.” The survey question was ‘Have you cheated on any quiz or test in the last month?’, and Miller’s results were astounding. The sophomore class recorded the highest numbers of self proclaimed cheaters, and the senior class with the least. The sophomore class reached a frightening 60% of people who admitted to cheating on a test or quiz. The overall percentage of the 100 students that Miller interviewed came to a shocking 58% of students cheat – and that is only the number of people who truthfully admitted their cheating.

Miller thinks that cheating in high school encourages students to cheat in college, and definitely helps build their cheating skills. Miller acknowledges the fact that teachers at Erie High School express their dislike of cheating, and work hard to explain why cheating is not beneficial to students, but Miller believes that those tactics are not solving the present issue. “There need to be harsher consequences for academic dishonesty,” stated Miller. As of current, if a student is caught cheating on a quiz or test, they will receive only half of the points they received, or zero points, depending on the teacher. Miller believes that the idea of cheating to obtain an excellent grade and not getting caught, outweighs the potential to get caught and receive a zero. Miller said “I think the punishment for cheating should be a lot stricter – if you get caught cheating, you should get zero points on the test or quiz, get a referral to the office, and have your parents called.” However Miller does not think that the office time should be during school hours because then the punishment is merely taking away from a student’s learning. Miller believes that “It should be more like a detention, a before or after school type of thing.”

Miller also passionately believes that the iPads are the root of the cheating problem. “It is so easy to cheat on the iPads,” adds Miller. This is only the second year of the implementation of iPads at Erie High School, and Cheating is at a record high, and a third of all freshman have at least one F in one of their classes. Miller expressed that he thinks the iPads simply make it so easy to cheat, that students can not resist.

Teachers that put tests or quizzes on the iPads make it much easier for students to cheat, as the students can quickly switch screens, or bring up apps on the side of the screen. While resources such as Google Classroom are fantastic, only a few teachers actually use them on tests and quizzes.

Miller credits teenage laziness as the major incentive to cheat, “It is just easier than actually putting in the hard work, and if you do not, then cheating is easier than taking the repercussions for your actions,” articulated Miller.

Cheating may never be abolished within the school system, but there are many things teachers can do to lower the chances of academic dishonesty, and there are many students at EHS that can change their actions. Cheating is not worth the risk of the guaranteed F grade, so put in the studying and legitimately earn your good grades!

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