I never really cared about what teachers had to say about academic honesty, about how cheating is bad, or about why plagiarism will land you smacked dab in the middle of fiery hell. Predictably, every year from August-September our teachers would hammer in the same message over and over again, with the same response: big yawns.

The truth is, students know the consequences. Getting busted in class can lead to embarrassment, being sent to the principle, and having emails sent to your parents, not very pleasant but not very serious yet. If you’re stupid enough to do it a third time, it gets dangerous, and can bring you into actual hell, ruining your future. There is a possibility of expulsion or suspension and a fixed page in your record that shows exactly what you did.

Teachers tell us this every year and we as students couldn’t care less, but when it comes to you actually getting to that third incident, you panic and don’t know what to do with your life anymore. At least that’s what I would do. What’s annoying is that the general attitude from the teacher is, “I told you so.” The real reason why teachers actually tell us this every single year is that in event of actual academic dishonesty, the only person we could blame would be ourselves, because everyone else has already warned us about what could happen.

While I was interviewing Mr. Harter, I realized that academic honesty is extremely important in our school. Especially this year, as teachers are really taking a stand on academic honesty. Once again, students aren’t interested in what teachers have to say about academic honesty because if we do get in trouble once, we all know that it won’t hurt our future in any way if we do it once.  I guess we could consider ourselves ‘”lucky” because some universities expel you immediately after one time being academically dishonest.

If I’m being completely honest now, I know that everyone has been academically dishonest at least once in your lifetime. Even Mr. Harter, our high school principal, admits he cheated a few times in his academic life. It’s not like he did it every day, and it definitely doesn’t condone academic dishonesty, but to be honest, the reasons behind it are simple; to get a better grade. If you do get caught cheating off of someone, however, there is a great chance of you getting suspended or for you to only get 50% on the assignment/test etc. So just ask yourself this before you want to cheat, “Would I rather want to get suspended or get one bad grade which will barely affect my class grade?”

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