The pressure to do well is felt strongly throughout Mountain Vista. The stakes and competition are high with many students consistently performing through both Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors classes. Parents often pressure their children to achieve the great and to perform at the best in their class.
This causes issues. With so many students feeling the pressure to get all “A’s,” to be in the top 5 percent of the class, or to have a high grade point average, it simply is not possible for some to be the best by performing at their personal best. Therefore, some students find another way to do well, and unfortunately, that is through cheating. It is something that nearly everyone either has done, witnessed, heard about or been a part of.
Cheating is explicitly outlined in the district policy as a non-tolerable act, stating the following under the category of grounds of suspension, expulsion, or classroom removal:
“Engaging in scholastic dishonesty which includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test or plagiarism.“
If a high-achieving student is expelled or suspended for cheating, it has the potential to put the rest of his or her future in jeopardy, especially if the student is looking to attend a prestigious university. But why doesn’t this stop people from doing it?
Simply, it is because of the expectation. Technically speaking, a “C” should be considered average. At our school, however, the expectation for some is to have the highest grades and to get mostly, if not all “A’s.” The pressure that kids feel to do well is overbearing, and it tends to take the place over honesty and true learning.
So, this begs the question: how do we stop it? There is no simple answer because the issue stems from many issues: pressure, lack of time, lack of knowledge, competition, et cetera. What we can do, though, is we can begin to see each other as peers rather than competition, and to do our best and not compare that to anyone else.
For instance, if someone is 27th in the class, that person may feel as if he or she has to beat those in front of them in order to have a higher rank or percentile. But those 26 people in front of them are peers, friends, and fellow students that work just as hard at what they do. We should be bringing each other up, not striving to tear each other down. The mentality of togetherness and not comparing oneself to others has the potential to help, and it is time that people start to realize that.