Corruption, Cheating at Harborfields

It has the reputation of being one of the biggest sins since Hester Prynne was identified as it in The Scarlet Letter.  Most people have seen it done. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quick peek on a peer's paper, taking a picture of someone else's Homework or copying self inputted answers from a calculator or Reference Table. These are all forms of cheating.

Students come to a realization particularly around their first or second year of High School that if you plan on attending college, you need to get in first. Loading your schedule with AP’s and Honors will get you there, but first you need the grades that will complete those classes. Studying is easy for some, but can be hard for others, so this is where cheating comes in. An anonymous Harborfields Junior said “The only time that I do it is when it comes to Chemistry, it’s a hard subject and I’ve tried tutors, different websites, and study marathons to help. If getting into a better school and having a better life is the result of writing some notes down on my hand, then I don’t really care.”

Cheating in High School is much different than doing it in college. The University of Colorado Boulder has a distinct way of dealing with cheating, According to their website “students found guilty of academic dishonesty also face consequences from the honor code council ranging from attending a mandatory class in ethics to expulsion from the campus.” Colleges aren’t very lenient when it comes to cheating or “non approved collaboration” as some students may put it! There have been few successful ways of dealing with cheating, but only some have been approved to be effective. Plagiarizing has reduced dramatically since the installation of sites such as “Turnitin.com” or “quetext.com”.They scan hundreds of thousands of websites, articles, and books to search for words or sentences that have been recorded to see if they are somewhat similar to what you wrote.

After sitting down and speaking with Mr. Potter, Dean of students, cheating doesn’t seem to be a surprise anymore at HF. Mr. Potter says, “It is mostly up to the teacher's discretion, I have seen teachers who give the student a retake and others who give out zeroes for that specific test only.” This is essentially a free pass to the students at Harborfields, there is not a definite chance that you will get caught or not on a test. Teachers give out on average about 8 tests and quizzes per quarter, so if a student can successfully cheat on 7 on them, get caught on the 8th, this means that worst comes to worst the student will have gotten 88% right without getting entangled.

After sharing these facts with an anonymous Senior at Harborfields, “If I had known some of this throughout High School and had more confidence, I definitely would have used some of this to my advantage.” This is just one of many testimonies...the only way to combat these cheaters is to bolster the academic dishonesty punishments at Harborfields, without it, the odds are ever in your favor.

Jack Blitch