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Cheating Scandals

Apparently Hanover isn’t the only town experiencing a high school cheating scandal. A few years ago, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, several students obtained a copy of the master key to their high school and handed down the key to other students as they graduated. These keys granted the students access to all of the rooms in the school, allowing them to steal countless exams and share answers via cell phone messages. The school’s locks are being changed and students will receive school punishments. Unlike at Hanover High School, there has been no mention of contacting the police to press trespassing or breaking and entering charges.

Students involved in the Hanover High scandal blamed their actions on the pressure of living so close to a high caliber Ivy League School. That’s a new excuse to me. “Dartmouth made me do it” simply doesn’t satisfy, particularly as Dartmouth’s Honor Code is clear on issues of plagiarism and cheating. I can only hope that parents and students recognize the appalling lack of integrity displayed by these students and take action in their own families to encourage personal responsibility. Schools may be havens of learning, but reality eventually greets us all. At Hanover High School, it arrived even sooner when school officials looked outside of their own disciplinary systems to address the cheating. While certainly damaging to the futures of the students involved, I’m sure that the choice to involve local authorities will serve as a strong deterrent for others “pressured” by the stress of applying to schools like Dartmouth.

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