A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

And yet-- I still believe it's wrong.

Depressing.

I have had numerous parents tell me that "everyone does it" and that if I can't give consequences to every kid who cheats, then I shouldn't punish their kid. The words "character," "honesty," and the like are laughed off as at best a quaint notion from bygone days.

In one previous incident, I watched a girl turn her paper so that the boy next to her could copy freely without straining his neck, poor thing. When I told her she got a zero too, she incredulously claimed that she hadn't been cheating. I held my ground with her and with her daddy, and fortunately was backed up by administration.

But the saddest part is that kids who don't bother to learn the material really cheat only themselves. Then they wonder why they struggle.

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6 Comments:

At 8/6/08, 9:41 AM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

I too have problems with not only the kids who cheat, but those who enable the cheating. They're invariably shocked when they're penalized exactly as those they allowed to copy.

 
At 8/6/08, 10:05 AM, Anonymous Kim said...

Yep, it's a consistent problem. I'm real clear at the beginning of the year that both cheaters get penalized. Last year I had a parent who was extremely upset every time I referred to his son's behavior (emailing a copy of his paper to a girl who turned in an exact copy as her paper) as "cheating". Dad thought that since son didn't intend for the girl to copy his paper, son shouldn't be penalized. My response: What did he think was going to happen when he emailed his paper to the girl?

 
At 8/6/08, 10:45 AM, Blogger Smithie said...

It's a constant thorn that will not go away.

 
At 8/6/08, 10:59 AM, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

I disagree, smithie - I think it WOULD go away - or, at least, be significantly reduced - if enough parents bothered to educate their kids for character (or, gasp! if teachers were allowed to hold students to reasonable standards of ethics and behavior without worrying about parents accusing them of treating their precious babies unfairly)

 
At 8/6/08, 2:10 PM, Blogger Smithie said...

Ms. Chili I agree with you. I stand by my statement...sadly

 
At 8/8/08, 9:53 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

And honesty can be mocked in our society as being naive and foolish. I once had a clerk loudly deride me for returning to a store to pay for something after I got to the parking lot and realized that I hadn't been charged for an item. The entire store got to hear what a "fool" I was. And let's see-- whose mistake was it that I wasn't charged? Hm? I believe in living my values -- and so the mockery began.

Better a naive fool with a clear conscience than an incompetent.

 

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