Students know who’s to blame when they see a classmate cheating. The cheater, of course. But they also know that some teachers make it easier to cheat than others, and some teachers might even help to create a culture of cheating.
Most students in a Mirada survey of cheating on campus say that agree that they have seen at least one instance of cheating, and, in some cases, it is a recurring issue.
“So many kids in high school now rely on cheating to guarantee themselves a passing grade on tests and other assignments,” said freshman Olivia Lynch.
Although students have to willingly make the choice to cheat, it seems that some teachers don’t make this choice a difficult one.
“I’ve seen many students in my classes sharing answers during tests and even looking at pieces of paper with all of the answers on it from students in previous periods,” said freshman Lily Mullen.
Teachers in those classes use the same test in multiple periods, don’t prevent students from writing down answers and don’t monitor the room to make sure no one is using a cheat sheet. The result, Mullen said, is that cheaters get an advantage.
A lot of other students have witnessed similar cheating strategies being used in their classes as well.
“I think that some teachers unknowingly make their classroom an environment that’s easier to cheat in,” said Senior Matthew St. Geme. “I’ve had teachers walk out of the classroom for the whole time we’re testing, which is just a time for everyone to share answers and help each other out.”
Students have also said that teachers do not always enforce consequences for cheating.
Even though a large percentage of teachers make it easier to cheat, other teachers make it nearly impossible to cheat in their class.
“I don’t think that teachers make it easier for students to cheat,” said Senior Melanie Burr. “All of my teachers are very strict about testing and always catch students attempting to cheat. They are also very cautious when grading and will notice similar answers between students that sit near each other.”
These teachers are very aware of what the students in their classroom are doing and take multiple precautions to make sure cheating is not happening in their class.
“I have not seen any cheating in most of my classes,” said freshman Camille Davis. “Most of my teachers have pretty strict policies and we can’t have anything around us during a test except for our pencils and maybe a water bottle. They’ll even go to the extent to check our hands to make sure we haven’t written anything on them.”
Students interviewed by the Mirada said that strict teachers may also prevent cheating because students perceive the class to be more fair.