<< An honest grade

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“I think they should get time for cheating. They’re copying from someone else who probably worked hard.”
Stacey Jackson, 12, Walton MS (Compton)
“Sometimes when they see the answers they get a craving and just do it.”
Jasmine Davis, 13, Walton MS
“I think it’s wrong … and they don’t really learn anything from it.”
Selenia Hernandez, 13, Walton MS
“I think it’s the people that cheat who suffer. I’ve known people that cheat off me. It kind of bothered me … I hope they pick up the knowledge.”
Joseph Salas, 18, Wilson HS (Los Angeles)
“Pretty much like everybody says it’s not cheating if you don’t get caught. If it’s slick it’s OK. In the long run it’s gonna hurt you [the cheater] not them.”
Israel Florez, 17, Wilson HS
“It’s a desperate measure because maybe they have to pass a test to graduate. I don’t want to say it’s acceptable but it’s understandable.”
Annette Serrato, 16, Wilson HS
“I think cheating is kind of a way a lot of kids get through high school. Because a lot of kids they wait until they someone they know is smart to do their work and copy off of them and the people they copy off of don’t say no. They don’t want them to not like them. I don’t think it’s fair because kids that work hard to do their work, they take their time and the kids that cheat off of them find it easier. It’s like a bad habit, you think, if I can cheat, I don’t have to do my work.”
Pauline Sigala, 17, Wilson HS
“There’s no shortcut to life. You can’t cheat your way through. I don’t think it’s good because you will never learn.”
Alejandra Michel, 14, East Valley HS (North Hollywood)
“I think it’s not fair. You’re just cheating yourself. Later in life you won’t know what to do because you cheated. It’s nor fair for the person who worked for it.”
Alejandra Rodriguez, 14, East Valley HS
“Cheating in a way is bad but it depends on how you use it. If you really don’t know the answer to a problem and you ask someone, it’s OK. But if you cheat and copy off a whole test, that’s bad.”
Dulce Bueno, 15, East Valley HS
“I think it shouldn’t be done because if you get a good grade it won’t be because of your homework. It’s not fair for the person that works hard.”
Melissa Flores, 14, East Valley HS
“I don’t think cheating is good. In the end you’re the one that’s going to have to pay for it.”
J-Rah Poblano, 15, East Valley HS
“It goes both ways. [Cheating for] smaller things [like quizzes] are only hurting yourself, but for bigger tests it should be punished.”
Gavriel Dorian, 16, Beverly Hills HS
“I think that cheating is wrong and completely unjustified. When someone cheats, they may get off of knowing something right that second, but it hurts them later down the road.”
Matthew Gilson, 15, Beverly Hills HS
“I don’t think cheating is morally correct but I think sometimes cheating is necessary to get ahead. I know that sounds pretty dark but it’s true. If you cheat on a homework assignment, I don’t think you should get a detention. But if someone were to cheat on a major project (report, exam, what have you) then they should definitely receive some sort of punishment.”
Jenny Le, 17, Walnut HS
“I don’t feel that [cheaters] are lazy or anything, but I do feel that it’s not fair to everyone else who did their honest work. Well it depends on the type of person—there are some circumstances where someone could have just simply run out of time.”
Katie Zeller, 17, Walnut HS
“It’s not justified, because if they’re cheating, they’re not getting the grade they deserve.”
Alison Hayashi, 11th grade, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (L.A.C.E.S.)
“I think that it shouldn’t be done. Cheating is never justified. But you know that it’s inevitable.”
Sarah Guzik, 11th grade, L.A.C.E.S.
“When you cheat, you aren’t doing anyone a favor. Sure you might get a better grade, but you didn’t learn anything. Still, cheating might be justified. If material wasn’t taught well by a teacher, I could easily see somebody double-checking an answer.”
Samantha Monarch, 14, L.A.C.E.S.
“Cheating is bad because you really are cheating yourself. Takes the grade you get. You deserve it.”
Melissa Goodall, 14, L.A.C.E.S.
“I would only share answers, I often do that on tests. I don’t cheat regularly—very rarely. But I think it’s not a noble thing to do. And I’m embarrassed that I’ve participated in cheating.”
Genevieve Ward, 14, L.A.C.E.S.
“Cheating is bad but it happens anyways. It’s not something to be proud of either. It depends on the situation if cheating is worth it. If someone cheats on my paper and I don’t know them then I don’t like it. But If I know them I’m OK with it.”
Valerie Sanchez-Cruz, 17, Eagle Rock HS
“I think cheating is something most teenagers do to pass their classes. Cheating is sometimes justified. If a student just forgets their homework and cheats off someone else’s paper once, twice, okay, maybe three times, and is usually a good student, then it’s okay. But cheating off tests is so not okay. Cheating is worth it when it comes to homework because it’s just busy work but when it comes to tests it’s never worth it because it grades your knowledge on the criteria. I don’t qualify cheating off homework as really cheating. If someone cheats off me I get flattered and think I must be really smart to have someone depend on me for their answers.”
Irene Bambico, 17, Eagle Rock HS
  "I have cheated in the past, but I kinda feel guilty every time I do it. I don’t really give it too much thought. I just do it. It all comes down to the teacher I guess, cause if they suck at teaching then how am I supposed to know what to do on the test? So in those cases, I think it’s alright to cheat. But if you have a good teacher, I think you should attempt to learn the stuff so you don’t have to end up cheating on the test."
Daniel Palio, South HS (Torrance)
  "I have cheated in the past; I think everyone has at one point or another. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. It’s not even that big a deal. Most of my teachers don’t care to teach so I just rely on cheating sometimes. It’s easy to get away with it too most of the time."
Kerstyn Toombs, South HS

Photos and quotes gathered by Mindy Gee, 17, L.A.C.E.S.; Sylvana Insua-Rieger, 15, Beverly Hills HS; Alex Key, 15, L.A.C.E.S.; Chelsea McNay, 14, L.A.C.E.S.; Nattalie Tehrani, 16, South HS; Angela Wu, 16, Walnut HS; Liberty Zabala, 17, Eagle Rock HS; and editors Mike Fricano and Laura Lee.