One of the least pleasant tasks faced by teachers is informing parents that their son/daughter has cheated on an assignment. No one likes to be the bearer of such news, but parents need to be informed when such transgressions occur. For the most part, they would accept the news stoically and thank me, but in my last several years of teaching, I noticed a disturbing trend developing. Sometimes parents expected exceptions to be made for their child, usually in the form of a makeup assignment. When I would refuse (my reasoning being that giving makeup assignments essentially meant there would be little disincentive to cheat) my motives would come under scrutiny, the parent wondering why I was being so ‘unfair’ to their child. I found such accusations so profoundly disturbing because they suggested to me that the children had been raised in a moral vacuum, where questions of right and wrong no longer held any meaning. It is one thing to look out for and try to protect your children, but at any cost?
I’ll tell you of some specific instances in future posts.