A Necessary Change in Cheating

Emma Bauer, Staff Writer

I’m going to address the stress of a high school student, or high school students. It exists. And it is affecting us in a big way, in more ways than one.

Cheating is something nearly everyone has done at some point. This seems to be more profound during times near big tests or semester exams. I am not talking about looking at a neighbor’s test, but sharing homework in order to complete it in a timely matter so they can focus on other homework, or other commitments made in other areas of their life. It has come to that point. Talk to someone, a friend who you think would never in a million years do such a thing. Have they cheated, but they feel awful about it? They saw no other option? Anxiety and the pressure to get everything done take over, and soon that becomes so great, that asking a classmate for their assignment becomes second nature in order to not feel bogged down by everything else.

Everyone has to understand the gravitas of the situation. In a study done by The Atlantic, 49 percent, nearly half of students reported “feeling a great deal of stress on a daily basis.” Twenty-six percent of those reported being diagnosed with depression due to stress, over four times the national average.

What does this say?

Another argument you have probably had an earful of, but I will keep addressing it because it is true, is students have lives and obligations outside of school. Jobs, sports, looking at college, other homework. And we all know that depending on the classes students take, the amount of time it takes students to complete all classes’ worth of homework can exceed two or even three hours, at which point the effectiveness is greatly diminished.

Teachers, how much homework assigned is necessary, or will actually benefit your students? How much of it do you even take for a grade, considering how much work is put into completing it?

Would you rather have students improve academic performance from a decreased to moderate amount of homework, or know that they are not learning anything because they are cheating, but feel they must in order to maintain their grade point average? Increased homework is teaching students that cheating is the only way to do so, promoting laziness and bad habits for later in life.

Also consider the benefits for you when assigning only mandatory and beneficial homework. Would this mean less grading, less time spent on school work, and less stress for you as well?

It is becoming easier and easier for some to relent to cheating, and nobody is helping anybody by doing this. There must be a change.