Expect Excellence: don’t cheat away integrity

Gulf Breeze High has an outstanding reputation when it comes to academics, boasting the A-School status for as long as some of us have lived in this city. With this sort of precedent, the student body is expected and pressured to keep high grades. Our school is littered with talent, but it has become increasingly common for students to be more concerned with keeping their high grades rather than putting in the time for homework and studying to achieve their impressive scholarly credits.
Copying answers, taking pictures of the teacher’s answer key, looking at the smart kid’s test when #14 just doesn’t make sense, and plagiarizing are all techniques students have used to gild their college resume with a 4.0 GPA.
It has become a cultural habit in GBHS, something we all are either bystanders to or are guilty of ourselves.
This is the fault of a combination of factors, such as poor leadership and integrity of the class, laziness, and poor time management. We, as a school, have a duty to ourselves to start taking responsibility for our own education and break this immoral trend.
The upperclassmen, especially the seniors, need to set a good example for the freshman class, a highly impressionable group that have their next four years unwritten. If they understand that cheating is not something that is tolerated, the cycle will break.
Student leaders – publication editors, club presidents, team captains, etc – it is imperative that you use your position to promote and enforce a culture of integrity within your organization. Leadership is more than wearing the most stripes, it’s constantly pushing your people to be greater to make your organization as efficient and successful as possible. This means to recognize students who aren’t being honest in your association and offer help or encourage a change of study habits. Whatever you do, do not let it go unmentioned. Your people represent you as you represent them.
Having a position in a club isn’t the only way you can be a leader in attacking cheating. Refusing to be an accomplice is one of the easiest ways a student can nip an event of cheating in the bud. Why should someone who spent the night before being irresponsible reap the benefits of your work and time?
Assisting a peer in cheating is also as simple as not covering your test during testing. Being a leader in the classroom is just as important as having a leadership position in a club when it comes to preventing cheating.
Gulf Breeze High offers alternatives to cheating for the grades you want.
For example, Mu Alpha Theta and JROTC both offer tutoring in the mornings to help struggling students. Cheating happens for 3 main reasons: poor time management, a lacking in material comprehension, and indolence. Tutoring cuts out one of those reasons a student would feel impelled to cheat. Seeking help is a major way of taking responsibility for one’s education and becoming a well-rounded student. Teachers are also more than happy to explain an unfamiliar subject to a student, rather than have that student reduce to cheating.
Ask questions in class. Form study groups. Watch Khan Academy videos. Use a planner. Take pride in your work ethic. Make time to do homework. Come to class prepared. Earn your class rank with integrity. Make yourself, your parents, and your school proud

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