A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Demons Caught Cheating


Students have been cheating on homework, classwork, and tests for many years. There are many ways students cheat, whether it be copying from a friend next to them, looking around the room, and even sneaking their phones during a test.

Many students think that their teacher doesn’t know they are cheating, but the truth is that many teachers are aware of their cheating. Students do plenty of obvious things when they are cheating. Ms. Hernandez said she can tell when a student is cheating because they either keep looking at their hands, their backpacks and water bottles. When a student is always looking at the same place for a long period of time, it becomes very clear that they are cheating.

Another way teachers know students are cheating is by the word choice they use. “When I read an essay and the word choice is not a typical pick for a high school student,” Ms. Hamby said.

Every teacher has a different way of punishing a student when they are caught cheating. It really depends on how bad the cheating situation was.  According to Ms. Hernandez, a student is punished according to how many times they have cheated. First offenders get a zero on the test and a phone call home. Second offenders also get a zero on the test and a home call home. Three offenses or more and the student will be sent to the dean’s office. Punishments vary by teacher.

Many teachers believe that cheating has not really changed. Mrs. Lange said “I don’t think so. [It’s] not better, not worse.” Cheating hasn’t really changed over the years. For the most part, students probably have got sneakier because they have more clever ways  to cheat. Another reason is that they want to check their work.

Many students have their own ways of how they cheat.  The most common way is when they look over at their partner’s papers. Some also use their phones to look up the answer for the questions they don’t know. There are many reasons why students cheat. A Greenway Student said they cheat to get good grades so [that] they don’t get grounded. Another reason is that they want to check their work. A Greenway Student, said “I want to see if I got [the answer] right.”

Students are usually not afraid to the cheat in class. One student said, “the teacher doesn’t really pay attention.” Since the teacher doesn’t pay much attention to all the students when they are taking a test. However, to other students, they would be terrified to get caught for cheating. A student said, “I would get scared and not say anything.” When you get caught for doing a bad thing, you would know what to do.

Teachers have their own opinions about why students would cheat. Ms. Hamby said,” They are not willing to put the work in finding the answer.”

Ms. Hernandez said that [they cheat because] it’s easy and they [can] get a good grade without putting in the effort. The student could be cheating because they weren’t prepared for the test. Ms. Lange said [they cheat] because [they] didn’t study.