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Be Honest: Don't Cheat
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People consider honesty to be very important. They choose friends who will be honest with them. Parents encourage their children to be honest. People have to be honest with their employers or they risk being terminated if it is later discovered that they lied on their application. Honesty is important. Yet many people are dishonest.

Lying is one way that people are dishonest. People may lie to their friends in order to impress them. They may lie on a job application to make themselves look good. There are two really bad things about lying, though. The first bad thing, of course, is that lying is wrong. The second bad thing is that lying usually backfires. If people lie to their friends, their friends may not want to be friends anymore once they discover the lie. If people lie on a job application, they will likely be terminated once their supervisor learns of the lie. Lying is a problem and is one way for people to be dishonest. It is not the only way, however. Students can be dishonest by cheating.

There are familiar forms of cheating, such as writing answers on the palm of one's hand before taking a test, passing notes, or peeking in a notebook when the teacher is not looking. Teachers are well aware of these forms of cheating, and they watch for them on test day. There is another form of cheating, however. Students have learned to use their cell phones to cheat and to help others engage in the dishonest behavior as well. They use their cell phones to send answers to friends in a text message. They also take pictures of the test and send the pictures to their friends. Now, when teachers ask students to put away their books and notes, they also must add, "Turn off your cell phones."

Why would students cheat? The most likely reason is because cheating is easier than doing the work that is required for honest sucess. It is much easier to have one friend text test answers to another friend, or to take a peek at some notes when no one is looking. However, this is dishonest. If a student earns a good grade after engaging in this behavior, he will not have earned the grade honestly. Perhaps the student did not study for the test. Perhaps he chose to do something else when he should have been studying. There is no excuse for cheating. Cheating is unfair to the students who did study.

Fortunately, teachers are smart. They have learned to watch for cheaters. They keep a close eye on students when a test is in progress. Most teachers who catch a student cheating will simply call the student to the front of the room, take his test, write a zero on it, and send the student away.

Be honest. It is much better to avoid cheating. You will save yourself many problems. You will also be able to leave a classroom after a test with your head held high, knowing that you did your best.


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