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What Would You Do If Your Child Were Caught Cheating?

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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