Never underestimate the power of karma. 

Nobody likes a cheater.

Kaitlyn Lafond, Guest Writer

Contrary to what you might think, cheating has karmic consequences that will come back and haunt you in unexpected ways. Cheating on tests, or even through life in general,  will set off a chain of reactions that can impact lives for years to come.

Cheating in school may seem like a small shortcut, however when someone cheats their way into advanced placement/honors courses and continues to cheat throughout the course, it not only takes opportunities away from people who deserve recognition, but it will set up the “Cheater” for failure in the future.

Are you the next George Santos?? 

Now, if you don’t know all the drama surrounding Santos, you better buckle up. He is a man who has lied and taken the “easy route” for the majority of his life. Launched as the first openly gay man to win a seat in the House of reps, he was sworn into office on January 3, 2023. 

However, not long after he was sworn in, his scandal rose to the surface. Santos admitted to embellishing his background, as well as admitting to lying about large portions of his stories. His excuse was that he was doing what he “thought needed to be done (to get elected).” 

Now, he is being charged with fraud, money laundering, theft of public money, as well as sexual harassment. My point is that Santos cheated his way through life by doing what HE thought “needed to be done” and by lying; Now, karma has caught up to him, and his career is ruined. Why? He refused to do the work himself, much like high schoolers who see no point in doing work themselves because it’s “busy work,” “useless,” “boring”… etc. 

Cheating at LHS…is it relevant??? 

Cheating in school is basically like taking $20 from your mom’s purse; at the time, it seems like a good idea, and there is a plausible reason that drives you to just take it. But, once you do it for the first time, you realize how easy it is, then you do it again, and again…Not realizing that mom is starting to notice how her $ 20s have mysteriously gone missing. 

Compare this to an essay. ChatGTP writes a unique essay on basically anything; I could type in something as stupid as “write me a rap on water,” and within seconds, I have a rap on my screen. Quilbot will take any text and rephrase it into something completely different. Quizlet has answers for basically every textbook, worksheet, math problem…etc, that we receive. Kids will even use Grammarly. 

The websites and apps are endless. Cheating is relevant, not only at LHS but everywhere. HOWEVER, that is not saying that these things can’t be used to help; Personally, I have used Quizlet to study; ChatGPT can be used for research, and things like Quilbot and Grammarly can be used to improve writing rather than seal someone else’s voice. The reason that LHS has banned some sites (such as ChatGTP) is that high school students take advantage of them. If students could understand the difference between cheating and actual research, there would be more hope for our generation. 

What classes are truly affected by this? The Queen has spoken!

No offense to any teachers reading, but pretty much every class is “cheatable.” From having a friend send the answers via Snapchat, to finding the exact worksheet/questions online…cheating is inevitable. When interviewing  LHS history teacher Mrs. Zianio, she mentions that “if kids put half the effort they did into cheating, imagine how successful they’d be.”  

Is she right? At this point, the world may never know. While talking with Mrs. Zianio, I learned that she voices strong opinions about cheaters herself. Not only does she know who’s cheating by simply seeing it happen, but the cheater’s peers are turning on them, also. Unfortunately, hearsay isn’t enough to give someone a zero if they are not caught by the teachers themselves, but clearly there is a problem if students are telling teachers who is cheating. I know telling a teacher sounds like the most reasonable thing for someone to do if they find out a peer is cheating but times have changed, and if you “snitch” on the wrong person for cheating…that’s basically social suicide. 

My favorite thing that Ziano said during our interview is that “At some point, they are responsible for knowing things, and if the only skill that they’ve acquired is cheating…they will find our how temporary their success was when they go to find a job…it’s  not a great skill to take, and it does eventually catch up to you.”

K.A.R.M.A. Zianio is completely correct with this statement. 

How does someone expect an engineer who cheated their way through school to be able to build or design something afterward? You can’t. What about a doctor? Would you want someone who cheated their way through school poking and prodding at you? Absolutely not. I know that at the time, looking up the answers to a worksheet may seem fine because “it’s just busy work”, but the more “busy work” you don’t do, the less you will learn in the long run. 

Can chat GPT be beneficial for learning? The CanMan says yes! 

Personally, I think that AI could be a great tool for learning and researching. However, With great power comes great responsibility! The teachers that I spoke to all agree that AI can be extremely helpful in certain ways but also extremely dangerous in other ways. Some teachers have found that there is a ChatGPT identification app that will help them catch cheaters in the future. 

One of these teachers is Mr. Cangemi. Cangemi says, “If you cheat a lot, you will lose.”

I mean, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Along with using the ChatGPT identification app, Cangemi claims that he knows when a person is cheating because he can compare it to other writing samples that students produce in class. 

 This year Cangemi says that cheating can include copying someone’s homework answers, using AI to write an essay, or reading Sparknotes instead of a chapter in the book. “Many students do this all the time,” he says, “which definitely affects home much one is going to learn.”

Now obviously, this is devastating because AP students shouldn’t have to cheat in order to pass. But, I mean, if you cheated your way into the class, then I suppose it makes sense that you will try and cheat your way through the class as well. Cangemi says if you cheat your way through an AP class you will probably end up failing the exam. No college credit for you. 

Future Valedictorian threatened by cheaters????? 

Theryn Pelletier stays unfazed by cheaters. While talking to Theryn, I learned some interesting things; for example, he has absolutely no clue what he wants to do after high school! Now personally, I think Theryn would make a fantastic ballerina. If you have never seen this man break out his dance moves, then you are indeed missing out. Anyways, I asked Theryn why he takes all AP classes; his response is, “I want to challenge myself.” I have to give him credit because he takes all AP courses AND plays a sport. 

I asked him about what he would say to cheaters given the opportunity, his response being, “I would ask them: What’s the point?” He goes on to say, “It’s a temporary boost that will eventually prevent you from becoming successful in your life.” I think being so smart has given this man superpowers; he literally read my mind! Really though, what is the point? 

It is extremely frustrating for people who work extremely hard to see someone excel in a class because they are cheating. It’s even more frustrating when the person who’s cheating somehow gets a better GPA and class rank than you do. As a person who spends hours on studying and on homework, I genuinely hope that it is worth it in the end.