Story by Anjali Mcdaniel, Photo by Christian Banks 

Full days, sleepless nights and physical aches and pains fuse with students’ mental anxiety as the end of the year approaches. The last six weeks of school bring final exams, End-of-Course and AP testing, and extra stress for students to deal with. As the academic year comes to a close, students should find ways to manage their time and stress levels to keep the temptation of cheating at bay.

“I think students get so desperate to improve their grades that they are in such a deep hole, that they sacrifice their morals and are trying anything to get out of it,” Assistant Principal of Instruction Susan Elvis said.

Cheating is a problem that schools across the country have to deal with. Even though there are consequences to these actions, students continue to avoid the possibility of failure by engaging in unethical choices.

“[People decide to cheat] because everybody does stuff to pass,” freshman Lilly Bagbe said.

Students have different motives for cheating.

“Having a lack of time, commitment, [or] just being lazy [causes some students to want to cheat],” senior Johnelle Weekley said.

Students don’t only cheat during the final months of the school year. Junior Rosa Naranjo says that a cheater is a cheater and students will continue cheating no matter the test or subject.

“A cheater is a cheater and students will cheat no matter what the test is on,” Rosa said.  

There are various consequences for cheating. Sophomore Emilie Beach says teachers should take control of the situations in their classrooms.

“If I was a teacher,” Emilie said, “I would say ‘don’t do that again’ and move them to a different seat across the room.”

Teachers handle cheating differently depending on the situation and attitude of the guilty student.

“There are no punishments for students unless they cheat on a test, but if you cheat on a test, it generally depends on the situation in terms of how [the student] respond to it. If they’re belligerent  then standard practice is they get a zero,” social studies teacher Karl Geliske said. “If they…feel bad for it [and] they understand what they’ve done, I’ll be a little bit more [lenient]. There still is a punishment. Their grade will still suffer, but it’s not as severe if they take responsibility for their actions.”

Students should be cautious and know that it is more ethical to do their own work. The consequences for cheating can be severe. These consequences range from receiving a zero on the assignment to the loss of senior privileges (including exam exemption).

“Cheating won’t help you in the future,” Rosa said. “It might help you now, but it’s wrong and you will get in trouble for it.”