Monday, May 20, 2024


Hartford Courant Editorial: Westports Action on Cheating Should be a Model

The Hartford Courant, in an editorial, has praised the reaction of Westports Staples High School to reports of cheating among its students.

It wrote: ғCheating among high school and college students is at an all-time high. Technology makes it possible, even tempting. Term papers and fake diplomas are offered for sale with abandon on the Internet. Copyrighted music is available with a click of the mouse. Electronic gadgets are capable of providing information from anywhere and using it without permission or attribution.

Young people raised in this milieu seem not to understand or care that passing off someone else’s work as one’s own is plagiarism. File sharing, the practice that has the music industry in an uproar, is illegal but nonetheless rampant. It’s sharing, said students at a recent high school journalism workshop. How could that be wrong?

“In some ways, this cavalier attitude is encouraged by well-publicized breaches of ethics by adults in the corporate, political and financial arenas.

ԔJohn J. Brady, principal at Westport’s Staples High School, is doing something about this disturbing trend among young people by making cheating an issue. He was prompted by an essay in the school newspaper chronicling ‘epidemic’ cheating at the school, followed by examples of elaborate cheating schemes among students driven by academic competition.

A funny thing happened on the way to a culture change at Staples High: The students welcomed the honest talk about the difference between pursuit of knowledge and pursuit of grades. They are involved in forming strategies for making cheating socially unacceptable. Parents and teachers are part of the effort, too.

ԔWestport’s recognition of the seriousness of this issue and its intelligent attempt to address it should be a model for Connecticut and the nation. Parents and educators don’t do children any favors by failing to teach them that hard, honest achievement is the most satisfying route to success.

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