Tattletale: To Tell or Not To Tell?

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Cheating. This is a practice that is extremely common among students. Many students witness their fellow peers cheating on a test or quiz. Their next possible course of action could be to notify a teacher. However, this mentality of doing the right thing might change if the person cheating is a friend. Though it may be easy to overlook a friend’s cheating, the right thing to do would be to notify the teacher.
Many argue that no one likes a tattle-tale and that it would be best to let a friend’s actions slide. Nevertheless, it will only benefit that friend if they are caught for their wrongdoings, because cheating on high school tests is very different from cheating in the real world.

In the real world, there are no second chances. A person cannot keep on taking the “shortcut” in life; they have to eventually mature and deal with their problems, no matter how daunting the task may be. As people become adults, others will have certain expectations of them. No longer will they be coddled. For example, if someone cheated their way through high school, their chances to succeed in college would not only decrease, but their chances of making it far in life would also diminish. Sure, if someone “rats” out their friend, that friend will get in trouble with the teacher and their grade will drop. However, learning not to cheat in high school is preferable to the alternative, since cheating in college leads to expulsion and cheating in the workforce can result in a pink slip.

In addition, it is unfair to other students who have studied and prepared for the test in advance, especially if there is a curve. Why should the students who actually studied for the test be the ones receiving the lower grade? Once they start cheating, they might start to rely on it.

According to a survey of 40,000 U.S. high school students in 2011 by the non-profit Josephson Institute of Ethics, over half of the teenagers surveyed stated that they have cheated on a test during the last year and 34 percent stated they have done so more than twice. In addition, it was also found that one in three students admitted to utilizing the Internet to plagiarize an assignment. These actions will only serve to harm these students in the future.

Society is heavily dependent on the results of exams to determine who receives a certificate in their profession and to determine who is capable of completing certain jobs or tasks. If someone is falsifying this information, they cannot be trusted. Would you feel safe if your doctors cheated to pass their medical exams? If your teachers cheated on their California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) Placement exams?