Academic Honesty Rewarded

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Academic honesty was rewarded recently and we thought you would like to hear about it.

academic honesty English: Cheat sheet in a rollerpen. Français ...

English: Cheat sheet in a rollerpen. Français : Une antisèche glissée dans un stylo-bille. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Test

I recently had a friend tell me an interesting story he had heard from his nephew. His nephew Matt was a good student, who worked and studied hard; but Matt found himself struggling in an algebra class last year. By the end of the semester, Matt was concerned that he would not score well enough on the final exam to pass the class, as he still was still a few points under the passing grade point average.

A few days before the test began, Matt overheard a group of boys discussing something very quietly in the back of the class. It was the end of the day and the teacher had stepped outside of the class for a moment. Matt listened in to what the boys were saying. Matt says the boys were discussing ways in which they could cheat on the test. One of the boys had gotten what he called a “cheat sheet” and they were planning on using the sheet at the final exam at the end of the week. “Hey Matt, come over here and look at this”, one of the boys waved Matt over.” Matt pretended not to hear and continued working on his assignment. The boy left Matt alone and a minute later the teacher reentered the classroom and the bell rang.

Doing the Right Thing

Matt needed a passing grade. He needed to do very well on the final exam to pass the class, but he wasn’t willing to cheat to do it. Matt knew cheating was wrong. Even if not cheating meant he would fail the class. So after everyone in the class had left, Matt got up from his desk and made his way over to the teacher at her desk. Matt explained to his teacher what he had overheard the boys talking about. She listened to what Matt had to say and then replied, “Thank you Matt, I really do appreciate your honesty and I will keep an eye on them during the exam”

Matt studied hard until the day of the exam. During the day of the exam, Matt’s teacher warned everyone in the class of the consequences of cheating before handing out the exam. Matt decided he wasn’t going to worry if the other boys in the class were cheating; and instead he focused on his work.

Well, it turns out, the other boys in the class did try to cheat; they received 0 for the final exam and failed the class. Matt’s teacher was so impressed with Matt’s honesty and loyalty to the honor code that she gave him an extra credit assignment; which allowed him to make up the few points he needed in order to pass the class.

  • Did Matt have a reason to cheat on the exam with the rest of the boys?
  • Do you think Matt did the right thing by telling his teacher the boys were planning to cheat on the test?

Finally, consider this thought-provoking question…

  • If you found yourself to be in the same position as Matt, how would you handle the situation?
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