What Would You Do If Your Child Were Caught Cheating?

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There are many lessons that we teach our children, but the one we often give short shrift to is cause and effect. I wrote about this last week when I asked why more parents don’t allow their children to fail and let them learn the lesson of not preparing for a test firsthand.

But what would you do if your child were caught cheating on a school assignment?  What if your child were caught copying a homework assignment from his classmates and as a result was kicked out of his English honors class?  Well, one California  dad started a lawsuit to have his high school sophomore son reinstated in the honors program.  Because cheating and honor go together like milk and cereal.

Does this make anyone else’s head  Linda-Blair -spin?

Maybe I’ve just been lucky in that my children have always had excellent teachers, teachers whose judgment I trust and whose grading systems I never had to question. (And no, my children do not have perfect grades.  It would be nice, though.)  Although I believe in advocating for your child, I am disgusted by the turn that advocacy sometimes takes to insistence, a demand that a grade be raised, homework re-evaluated, child elevated.

The California dad, who says he knows that his son cheated (the son admitted to it), nevertheless feels that getting kicked out of the honors program means that [t]here is the possibility this will cause permanent harm. What university will it keep him out of? Will that have far-ranging consequences in what kind of job he can get?

Wait, so there is a chance that getting kicked out of the honors program will have adverse consequences?

What will they think of next?

I care less about the outcome of this lawsuit (although I’ll be watching) than I do about the message that parents are sending to their children.  A message of cheating may be bad, but it shouldn’t affect your future and your parents will bail you out and perhaps most terrifying of all, consequences don’t matter.

What a terrible lesson for our children to learn.

There is no honor in cheating and the sooner our children realize this, the better.

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