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Teachers learn to catch and respond to cheating students

Lexi Zimmerman, Opinion Editor

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Students witness it every day. They see the student in front of them or across from them looking over their papers to copy the answers from someone else’s paper. In most cases, students do not react as long as it does not affect them. However, when it does involve them, say if their paper is the paper being copied off of, or they feel the need to cheat themselves, students do not want to get caught in fear of the consequences. Therefore students continuously try to find new ways to cheat.

Students think they know everything about cheating. They think they know when they can cheat, how they can cheat, who to cheat off of and how to get away with it. Yet, many times students do not account for the idea that their teachers know more about cheating than they realize. Students tend to underestimate teachers and their ability to spot cheating, but teachers have been in this business for years and know all the tricks students will try to use to get away with cheating. Biology teacher, Mr. William Kulick often deals with cheating and has ways of noticing it.

“I observe students’ eyes and gestures,” Kulick said. “I look for students looking at their laps or elsewhere.”

After catching students cheating, different teachers have different policies on how to deal with them. This is another issue when dealing with cheating. Students pick up on how teachers discipline, and use that to their advantage to determine which classes they can cheat in and which they cannot. In particular, Kulick gives cheating students a zero on their test the first time he catches them, gives a zero again and contacts their parents the second time he catches them and if the student is a member of the National Honor Society, he requests them to be removed. This punishment Kulick carries out, however, is not consistent with all teachers’ disciplinary ideals. Some teachers are more lenient than others, causing students to cheat more often in such classes.

People often think of the stereotypical cheater as someone who has no morals, does poorly in school, is not academically focused and consistently takes lower level classes. However, Mr. Kulick disagrees with this statement.

“Cheating is a big problem for many students at Pikesville, especially among GT and AP students,” Kulick said.

In order for cheating to cease, the consequence must be consistent throughout the school for every class. Teachers must give the same consequence to their standard class student as they would to their GT or AP student.

“No matter what policy is decided, the entire staff should all do the exact same consequence,” Kulick said. “It should be supported by the administration. The faculty council should be involved in developing a school-wide code of ethics dealing with cheating that will apply to all students in every class and at every grade level.”

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The student news site of Pikesville High School
Teachers learn to catch and respond to cheating students