Inconsistent message on cheating

April 5, 2014 

As recent news reports will attest, "justice" comes in various shapes and sizes.

An article and later editorial in the BND involved a Highland teacher who allegedly encouraged and assisted students to cheat on the Illinois Standard Achievement Test in order to cast his/her (the teacher's identity was not divulged) teaching skills in a positive light. For punishment he/she was reprimanded and received a get-well plan that with satisfactory completion would allow for him/her to correct the unprofessional conduct/behavior.

Meanwhile the teacher continues to teach.

Contrast this local cheating with a recent cheating scandal involving several Air Force missile operations personnel at a base in Montana. A number of junior officers were caught cheating on written proficiency tests. Though none were involved or aware of the cheating, nine mid-level officers were fired from commander positions because senior Air Force leaders had lost confidence in their ability to lead. The result of the removal actions will undoubtedly have major negative impacts to careers and could mean early retirement for the officers.

I guess we can just chock it up to "different strokes for different folks." What message does it send, especially to our youth?

Bill Malec


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