Thursday, August 18, 2016

Cheating - The Moral Dilemma

As I have been getting back into the swing of school, I've noticed a huge upturn in the amount students are cheating.  Not only do I find that students are cheating, but that teachers don't consider it such a moral dilemma but instead brush it off as irrelevant.  Has it become the norm these days to quickly bring your phone out during a test?  Have the ideas of cheating stopped spanning to asking for past students what the test questions are?  Have teachers just stopped caring that cheating is typically considered wrong? It seems so.

Of course, I am not just talking about my own school, you can find cheating anywhere in the world.  If you look online you can find the vast amount of ways students have tried to cheat on the Gao Kao, or any other standardised testing.  They go through measures that are sometimes absolutely crazy such as painting their nails with the answers, using 3D glasses, printing on the back of soda labels and much more.  I'm sure that it's not just me that has been noticing it, and I am not here to argue if it is right or wrong. I would like to assume that most people find that it is morally wrong.  What I would like to investigate here on the Responsibility Catalyst is what someone in my position should do as this could be considered more of the "grey area" of this topic.

In my case, I have been on both sides of the coin - someone who reports and also someone who stays quiet.  If I notice someone cheating in class during a test via telephone, it's very inconvenient for me to stop the entire test tell a proctor and take my attention away from my own test just to get someone in trouble.  Although schools oblige students to report any misconduct I find that it puts me in a very bad place.  If I were to report something like that in public - so that the cheating could be proven, I would become the outcast of the class.   This could cause many other repercussions than just being ousted socially but it could also make those who report to not want to speak up in the future.

On the other hand, if I were to report outside the class it would be nearly impossible to prove and thus be irrelevant as well.  Should we even call upon students to be the "rats" of their class?  Even in modern day society whistle-blowers are not those who are deemed successful and many times face serious consequences.  Hasn't your mother ever told you not to be a tattle-tale?  The same principle, in theory, applies here.  So what are you to do?

Finally, to explain my situation. There was one time that I found some people had an advanced version of the test and were using it to cheat on the test the next day.  Unfortunately, this copy happened to end up in my possession - unbeknownst to me until I read what it was.  This, I finally reported to the teacher because it clearly was involving myself and I didn't want to be accused of doing anything of the sort.  So, in response, I reported the cheating - leaving out the names of the students as I did not want my classmates to face consequences.  The teacher promptly replied back to me and said he knew people were cheating, and that he couldn't do anything about it so he would let it carry on.  He sent me a message explaining that in life sometimes the cheaters win - and this is what really opened my eyes to the thought that maybe times have changed and it is not the right thing to do, reporting cheating.

So, based off of these experiences and thoughts I have yet to come up with an acceptable answer to these dilemmas.  What do you think is the right thing to do?  What is the best way to be responsible - let things slide or say something?  If you have an opinion please let me know in the comments below.  Stay responsible! :D

P.S. Thank you all for your patience in waiting for my blog post.  I know it has been a month and a half that I haven't written, but I have just been getting back into school.  Now that I'm settled in for my final semester I will be posting more frequently again.  Thank you!