What would you tell your kid

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by goober, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. goober

    goober Legend

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    So 3 kids witnessed another kid cheating on a test. There are not that many tests each grading period so the tests count a lot (30% of you grade or so). The teacher obviously didn't notice anything. They want to know if they should turn the kid in or not. The teacher gives hard tests and curves the test so other people's scores do affect how much of a curve there will be. This is middle school level. Would you tell them to turn the student into teacher, just tell the kid they saw her cheating without telling the teacher or say nothing and just let spread rumors like junior high kids are good at doing?
     
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  2. norbac

    norbac Legend

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    Curving tests in middle school? Jesus.....
     
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  3. iradical18

    iradical18 Professional

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    My son is only 2 but when the time comes I'd like to think I'd try to instill some kind of morals in him so I think I'd have him approach his teacher. I doubt anything will come of it seeing as how the teacher didn't witness anything though.
     
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  4. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Are these 3 kids 'gossips'?

    If they are, the teacher will know one day or another.

    I suggest they tell the girl they saw her cheat and OFFER her help because she clearly needs it. :)
     
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  5. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    How would you deal with it in the adult world? Say at your work place. Would you do the same with your colleague to a supervisor? with your firm with a regulator? a fellow citizen with police?

    It has to be the same. I dont understand why one would want to apply a more idealistic standard on the kids.
     
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  6. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    It seems many parents have the impulse to tell their kids what to do. I never did. I'd sit and discuss the ethical issues, discuss the potential advantages and pitfalls that could come to them with various courses of actions, and unless they wanted me to decide for them (they generally didn't), let them decide for themselves how to proceed. Worked out extremely well.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    +1.

    In addition, I would say it is a good opportunity to point out to kids the pitfalls of accusing someone of wrongdoing and then being wrong about it. That possibility may not have occurred to a middle-schooler -- especially since many kids have accommodations that might well look like cheating to a peer.

    I have to say, if you busy yourself ratting out every person who cheats on a test at school, you will never get anything else done.
     
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  8. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Curve or no curve, the 3 kids should just mind their own performance on the test. Sure, some cheater may affect the curve, hence alter the scores of the other students. But then again, there might be another student who took the test fairly and perhaps even scored a 100%. Wouldn't the cheater's test be moot at that point?
     
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  9. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Never good to narc on other kids in a test situation.......they should worry about their own performance and worry about themselves.

    The child in question will eventually get caught (always do in the end).
     
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  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    In other situations, they should report the kid. I am talking about assault on another kid, drugs, and such criminal acts. Kids should be told that there should be no code of silence in these matters.

    Cheating on a test is a different situation, IMO. However, if a group of students is conspiring to cheat, then those students should be ratted out. It shows a very deliberate and planned strategy.
     
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  11. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    To my eye the forest is being missed by the trees. A couple of things:

    1- No one cares about Middle school grades so there is no personal upside to turning in the kid.

    2- Just so you (and your son) know, there were actually 7 kids cheating that day, they only saw (caught) one.

    3- If your son and his cronies want to take on the mantle of "snitch" in the modern Middle school environment with social networking etc, so be it.
     
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  12. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Why is reporting someone for cheating a bad thing? Kids should know that if you do something wrong you will get caught or be turned in. I'm a snitching rat-fink narc and proud of it.
     
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  13. goober

    goober Legend

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    Would it make any difference to you if the school had an honor code that everybody had to sign at the beginning of the year and part of the code included reporting witnessed cheating?
     
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  14. krz

    krz Professional

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    I NEVER NARC'D ON NOBODY!!!
     
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  15. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I will make some assumptions:

    1- You acknowledge and agree with my three points above (since you didn't mention any info/opinion against them).

    2- The school is not the neighborhood public school (since I am unaware of any such schools with such a code).

    3- There is a reason you guys chose such a place to educate your son. What the reason is, may be important for the correct answer to your question.

    4- Obviously you care most about your son, as opposed to the theoretical impact to the Code, the school, the educators, the other kids, the karmic universe etc.

    If you have more info I can answer your question specifically, if not I will give this general, one-size-fits-all answer:

    I would use this situation as an opportunity to discuss in detail the nuances of this issue, many of which these posts have mentioned. Whichever course of action you and your son come to together is likely to be correct.
     
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  16. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    Rat 'em out, but not directly to the teacher. Go to the principal's office and explain the situation to someone in authority, and request anonymity. Leave an anonymous note with the principal if necessary.

    In the real world, there are whistleblower resources to protect reporters. In school, you have to find workarounds.
     
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  17. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    If they noticed it becoming a pattern I would consider telling them to say something. I think if it were something like a child being threatened or someone's safety was in question it's a no brainer but as most here have posted it seems like this is something you need to sit down with your child and decide how you feel about it ethically. I wouldn't Reccomend they go to the principal though as someone said. I work at a school, like any situation, I'd stick within the chain of command. Go with a teacher they trust and maybe "talk hypotheticals" and see how an unbiased teacher feels about it. A principal has much more pressing matters I would hope than an eighth grade exam. Interesting question, I caught a kid cheating on a test today in class oddly enough and had to deal with this myself.
     
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  18. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    Of course you would, because you want to be the first line of defense if anyone brings up something you might have been involved with.

    There's a reason whistleblower resources are designed to work outside the "chain of command."
     
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  19. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    You seem to be missing the point of the additional information that this school has an Honor Code that kids have to sign each school year. You know darn well what the teacher, any teacher is going to say...
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Bump.

    So what happened?
     
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  21. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Just kidding. Seriously though: it doesn't really matter what you do, unless it does matters what you really do.

    we are all stardust...
     
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  22. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    This is a learning opportunity for your son.

    Talk to him ... discuss the fact that he made a commitment to this honor code and that he may have a responsibility to his classmate to report him. This is one of those situations where the cheater will benefit in the long term from being caught now especially when it does not mean much.

    However, let him know that telling the teacher may result in reprisals from his peers in middle school. We all remember middle school ... it can be a war zone of puberty and awkwardness.

    But whatever he decides it should be his informed decision ....
     
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  23. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Hey goober, what's the follow up?
     
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  24. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    Good point. So what ever happened? Skewing the Harvard entry class of 2018 or did they talk to the teacher/principal?
     
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  25. goober

    goober Legend

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    We talked about the consequences of various actions or inactions. We discussed the honor code and what it means and also the "school yard code" and how breaking that could also have consequences. I left it up to her and her friends to decide. I told her I would not push either way and I would not pursue the matter any further unless she wanted to discuss it further. She and her friends decided to tell the kid in question that they saw her cheating and that if they saw her do it again she would be turned in. My kid felt she honored the spirit of the honor code by reporting the cheating. The code does not actually say who you have to report it to. They also avoided not getting into an ugly mess for the kid.
     
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  26. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    So they threatened the cheater about future consequences? That strikes me as a remarkably poor choice, based on an intentionally ridiculous reading of the honor code, and basically dares the cheater to do it again.

    The kid you advised is now an accomplice to the cheating, since they're helping to cover it up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
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  27. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    Yeah and you're probably the same jackwad who reminds the teacher just as the final bell rings leading into a 3-day weekend that she forgot to give out the homework assignment.

    enough already with the sactimonious b.s.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
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  28. jhhachamp

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    Lol!

    It doesn't sound like a threat to me. It sounds like giving the cheater a chance to realize what they have done and try to make a change. I agree that given the situation this is certainly an acceptable outcome. I disagree that in any way that she could be construed as an accomplice in cheating for handling it this way. That is even more of a reach than the interpretation of the honor code.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
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  29. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    I obviously disagree. I think this child made the worst possible choice, for the following reasons:

    1) The kid has learned that it's OK to go back on your word. The kid signed the honor code, and now clearly seeks grown-up approval to ignore the spirit of it. "Reporting" wrongdoing to the wrongdoer simply is not reporting. (Disclaimer: I haven't seen the honor code in play here, but I'm applying Occam's Razor based on what we know.)

    2) If the cheater ever gets turned in in the future, for anything, they now know who to attempt to seek revenge on... regardless of who actually rats them out.

    3) If the cheater gets caught cheating again in the future and gets asked who helped, they very well may turn in the kid who knew about this instance and said nothing.

    4) The kid has learned making an empty threat is a better option than taking action to right a wrong.

    As they say, it's not the bad act that's interesting, it's the cover-up. This is an interesting situation. Good luck to all these kids, they'll need it.
     
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  30. goober

    goober Legend

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    1) You are right you did not read the code and you have no idea of whether it violates it or not. Basically you are wrong. There are provisions in the code for informing a person to make them aware that they were witnessed violating the code . This gives the student violator the choice to turn himself in or take other appropriate action. In this case the kid was attempting to look at another student's test paper during a test. Violation IMO was minor and difficult to prove as the student could simply say he didn't do it or his accusers were mistaken. The most likely action if reported would have been nothing other than making the teacher aware of it or at most moving the student during the test.

    2) NO - ridiculous assumption. The teacher can catch you, other students can catch you. Yes if he tried the same thing in the same class he would definitely know who turned him in. I actually don't have a problem with that if he is dumb enough to do it again.

    3) Even more ridiculous. Confronting a student about cheating = helping them cheat?

    4) Threat is not empty. It is not a cover up and is in line with the spirit of the honor code ( which I have read actually 3 times now)
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
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  31. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the additional info about topic 1, that helps put the issue in perspective. You could have been clear about this when you originally mentioned the honor code.

    We simply disagree about the merits of the kid's choice re: 2 through 4.
     
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  32. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    my 2 cents: besides whatever path you wish your kid to choose, it's equally important to impress upon him or her that while someone cheating at this particular juncture in life maybe not make or break them at that stage, their lack of character will eventually catch up to them one way or another. And further, that the more the cheater takes that path, the morally easier for them it becomes and the deeper they fall and the fences they eventually need to mend become almost innumerable.

    Assist them in bringing about their salvation from their fraudulent ways. Gently, gradually steer them back onto the path of academic righteousness: Cliff Notes.

    Goober, just curious: what course of study was involved here (math, science, eng., etc.)??
     
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  33. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Kudos to you guys for handling it the way you did (and as I advised, though it sounds like you guys were going to do it that way anyway). Conspiracy types will try to imagine the sky falling in various ways regardless of what you do but the interaction between a kid and a parent they admire far, far outweighs any other facet of this issue, since it is that lesson she will take with her long after this incident is forgotten.
     
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  34. jhhachamp

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    I'm with you on all 4 points.
     
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