Monday, December 01, 2008

Do Students Cheat? How About Parents?

What high school teacher would be shocked by the latest poll showing that more than 60 percent of high school students admit to cheating on a test during the last year, or that more than a third used the Internet to cheat on an assignment? Not one that is in contact with reality! [See Survey Finds Growing Deceit Among Teens.]

Of course, we all hope that our own children are in the minority who do not cheat, but ask yourself: if you could cheat on your income taxes and not get caught, would you do it? If you believe that "everyone else" gets ahead of you because they cheat, would you? If you did get caught and you could blame the tax preparer or the government or ignorance and get away with without serious consequences, would you cheat?

Students today don't even know the meaning of the word "Draconian" because they and those responsible for forming their ethics make too many excuses for bad behavior, whether it be cheating, stealing, or lying. Too many teachers suffer burnout from facing the hurdles (angry parents, administrators that want parents to go away, etc.) to enforcing a cheat-free classroom. How many parents will say, "Thank you for catching my child"? High school teachers of writing require more and more class time for drafting so that they know that the work is the student's own (and not his-or-her friend's or parent's or something found on the Web).

Don't forget--this financial crisis was largely brought about by mortgage brokers who were so greedy for commissions that they didn't care what consequences ensued, even encouraging applicants to lie on applications. And the applicants did. They weren't high schools students.


Anonymous said...

Considering the number of parents I know who have blatantly cheated to get their child into Buist Academy, none of this surprises me. Unfortunately, what continues to surprise me is the CCSD board and staff's refusal to do anything about the cheaters.
Even more surprising is Buist parent Toya Green, our own District 20 resident and Chair on the CCSD board pretends she knows nothing about this, yet has been given numerous names in open session.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Buist parents cheating... Didn't our school board Vice-Chair Gregg Meyers' kid break into Buist Academy a few years ago? Please correct me if I'm wrong, Attorney Meyers. I wouldn't want to risk being sued for slander.
Does anyone remember that? What where his consequences? Clearly, he wasn't expelled. It must be nice to be a child of school board parent, huh?

Anonymous said...

So tell me how you know what parents cheated to get into Buist? You personally know them... they told you... you saw the application? Just curious how YOU know...

My child goes to Buist and I don't know who cheated.... and let me say this loud and clear... IF PARENTS CHEAT THEY NEED TO PAY THE PRICE...IT IS WRONG TO CHEAT... just had to do that because every time I post on here or Charleston's shame and admit my child goes to Buist people assume I'm ok with the cheating of a handful of parents... I'm not ok with it... I didn't cheat and no one should... they should do it the right way and hope for the best

Anonymous said...

How about new board members that fail to disclose their sordid past? Is that cheating?
Filing Inquiry Details for Case ID - Questions about this case?
Writing a fraudulent check and a DUI
Year: 1996 Type: SU Location: 78 Number: 001378

Defendant: COLLINS, CHRISTOPHER Alias: N Status: NA Date: 12/06/1994

Defendant ID: A of: A Count: 01 of: 01

Attorney: ** NO ATTORNEY ** Type: N/A

Bond Type: N/A Amount: 0.00 Surety: ** NO SURETY FOUND ** Date: N/A

Officer: THOMPSON Badge: N/A Arrest Date: 12/06/1994

Agency: 1002 Municipality: CC Warrant/Citation: D676964

Statute Charged: 34-11-0060 Description: FRAUDULENT CHECK < $500. 1ST;

Warrant Filed: 01/12/1995 Report Group Charged: 9055 GOC Charged: M

Indictment Filed: N/A Judge: 5627 Assign Date: 03/20/1996

Next or Last Event: BTR Event Date: 01/12/1995 Event Time: 10:00

Event Description: BENCH TRIAL Judge: 5627

No. of Continuances: N/A Continuance Date: N/A

Filing Inquiry Details for Case ID - Questions about this case?
Year: 1997 Type: SU Location: 68 Number: 002693

Defendant: COLLINS, CHRISTOPHER Alias: N Status: NA Date: 05/16/1997

Defendant ID: A of: A Count: 03 of: 03

Attorney: ** NO ATTORNEY ** Type: N/A

Bond Type: P Amount: 376.00 Surety: RONALD HOLLIDAY / 723-9170 Date: 05/27/1997

Officer: ROBERTS Badge: N/A Arrest Date: 05/16/1997

Agency: 1002 Municipality: CC Warrant/Citation: 72774AO

Statute Charged: 56-05-2930 Description: D.U.I. 1ST

Warrant Filed: 05/20/1997 Report Group Charged: 0623 GOC Charged: T

Indictment Filed: N/A Judge: 5883 Assign Date: 05/20/1997

Next or Last Event: BTR Event Date: 05/28/1997 Event Time: 10:00

Event Description: BENCH TRIAL Judge: 5883

No. of Continuances: N/A Continuance Date: N/A

Anonymous said...

How do you not know who cheated? This is how.

The names of those enrolled used to be published. At some point CCSD released a list of those admitted and what lottery list they were drawn from. Cheating has been long suspected by African-American parents downtown, so when the racial quotas went away, the curtains were pulled back on the admissions practices for all to see. Parents of students who had "failed" to meet the qualifications also began to compare notes. Discrepancies couldn't be explained by the parents or CCSD when questioned.

A group of D20 parents began to check and compare the information they had. They discovered quite a few of those enrolled at Buist were drawn from the D20 list when they weren't D20 residents, and in some cases, never had been. When they looked further, it was discovered others were admitted from the low performing schools list but they didn't live in a low performing school attendance zone.

As the evidence began to pile up, additional questions were asked of Sallie Ballard. She refused to respond. Then the questions were presented to the constituent board. They agreed to take up some of the issues because SC law requires constituent boards to oversee the assignment of students to schools in their areas. By law they are required to oversee transfers between schools according to whatever is in the best interests of the students and schools in those districts.

The D20 board did its own investigation and posed additional questions. CCSD officials played dumb in public. In private CCSD officals made threats to some and offered bribes to others with transfers bypassing waiting lists at Ashley River and St. Andrews ES. In spite of the evidence, CCSD refused to address the proven cheaters. CCSD also refused to admit qualified D20 residents to take seats that were officially reserved for them but were left vacant or assigned to the cheaters.

The message was clear. The cheaters were OK with those in charge. MGJ, as superintendent, went so far as to lie about it all during a press conference held in 2006. When she said CCSD had reviewed the evidence, she admitted they had received the evidence presented. But when she said they found NO BASIS for any of the accusations...she lied. Too many names were already known to the public and no one could support the fiction that these were D20 residents. Why else was the press starting to ask questions about address cheats?

MGJ wouldn't have called a press conference if the charges weren't valid to the extent she needed to address them. The truth is the charges were giving the administration a lot of heat and specific evidence was getting too close to the targets. Like with other questions, she simply pulled the rug out from under those raising the questions. In her unique way, she said there was no story. The public was supposed to obey her and forget it.

Don't forget, as she was preparing to leave, MGJ said CCSD was suffering within a planation culture. A lot happens on a plantation that can't be seen by those off the planation. Out of sight, out of mind. That doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

It's an old story now only it repeats itself every year as Buist accepts new applications starting in December. The address cheats continue. The administration continues to accept them and make excuses. Buist continues to have vacant seats while the principal culls the waiting lists for students she prefers to have.

The students in this school, as well as others, continue to hear and read about what parents, teachers and district officials are doing all around them.

The current school board chairman said something very telling when the board voted last August to grandfather all those who really had lived downtown when they were enrolled but later moved...provided they were enrolled during the 2007-08 school year or before. Those entering Buist as a D20 resident, starting with the fall of 2008, would have to continue to be a D20 resident or they would have to give up their seat to another qualified D20 student.

She said this didn't cover the actions of those who had never lived downtown or in a school judged as low performing at the time of their application. She said it was a separate issue that would be addressed later. She and others on the board and in the administration left many of us with the impression they were going to go after these "cheats" with gusto.

Did they mean what they said or did they just say what they wanted us to believe? Well....? We're still waiting.

Will the removal of proven cheats be supported by Buist parents who say for now they don't know any cheaters or who doubt they exist? Or will the administration just say they've looked but, once again, they can't find any.

This isn't about punishing parents for wanting to get their child into a good school. Every school in Charleston County has address cheats. What makes Buist different from the other schools is a downtown child is prevented from occupying a seat that they were promised because of someone having cheated. The other good schools can't turn away a student who is properly zoned for those schools, no matter how crowded they get.

You would think this concept would be easily understood by parents of students intelligent enough to meet the qualifications for admission to Buist. Selective understanding, like honorable behavior in a competative society, is subject to convenience. Teens learn early how to lie, cheat and steal. Just the toleration of those who do these things takes a toll on others who remain silent.

The parent who claims not to know will eventually pay a price, more or less. These same people are helping to shape the character of other people's children in a system that advances cheaters. If a parent is personally trustworthy but ignores inequities within the system, what kind of message does that send to their own children? Young people, especially smart ones, learn by observing the adults around them. Buist is no exception.

Anonymous said...

To the Buist parent, check out your Buist directory. Go to and click on the Treasurer's link. You can check the year the child entered the school and look at the parents' address to determine who cheated with a few clicks. You can do a tax search on cars and propety. No rocket science. Just CONscience...something these parents, our board, and CCSD could care less about.
Maybe there's hope if we had more parents like you at Buist.