ART BY ANNA MACIAS
By MICHELLE HUANG
“Did you do the homework? Okay, let me copy it.” This has become a usual question for students, because many of them have turned to cheating to alleviate the pressure they feel from parents and teachers.
Many students are raised in environments where their elders push them to get perfect grades, attained through studying 24/7. Since this is understandably a lot for teenagers who wish for excitement and adventure in their lives, many students turn to corrupt morals (academic dishonesty), in order to please their parents and live a satisfying and thrilling life at the same time. Thus, many students lose sight of the importance of maintaining integrity during their race to their bright futures.
Because cheating is so common now, academic integrity needs to be recognized more. Students often turn to malicious methods of obtaining good grades such as cheating on homework, quizzes, and even tests. Maintaining academic integrity automatically places students above those who are dishonest, regardless of their performance in class.
Academic integrity should be recognized more in society because it is more important to see a student’s hard work in class, rather than measure each student simply by a grade letters. Due to the standardized nature of letter grades, college admission officers and other officials who evaluate a student’s grades are unable to evaluate a student’s true capabilities. However, in this day and age, when many students are losing integrity and get most of their work from the few hard-working peers left in the school, it is becoming less reliable of a measure. Instead, when assessing a student’s qualifications to be in a certain college, admission officers should delve deeper into the case.
Under no circumstances should cheating be acceptable, even if the student merely forgot to finish an assignment. A student must be honest when doing their work, and when they do not have time to do it or do not understand the homework assignment, they should ask the teacher for help, rather than asking for another student’s homework.
This way, students are bettering themselves, because although they initially did not understand the assignment, they were responsible enough to ask the teacher and clarify their misunderstanding. Thus, students will not only be able to swiftly finish their homework next time something similar is assigned, but they will also better understand concepts on the test, giving them no incentive to cheat on the assignment later on. Therefore, when a student finds help on their homework, they do not just accomplish a short term obstacle- getting a good grade on the homework assignment; instead, they prepare themselves for bigger, more impactful assignments such as projects and tests. When students are simply unable to finish their homework on time, they should accept the consequences and learn from their mistakes, rather than copy others’ homework.
Another importance of staying honest when doing work is that it is an important trait not only for high school or even college years; it is a lifelong quality that can appeal to many influential figures: high school teachers, college admission officers, professors, business interviewers and even friends will be impressed by one’s resistance to the peer pressure of cheating.
Overall, society’s enlarged focus on a student’s grade letter, rather than the work put into getting such a grade takes a toll on students’ moral judgements.