“Keep Your Eyeballs on Your Own Quiz!”

Greely students and faculty share their views about cheating.

Jane Lipp dramatizes what one form of cheating might look like in the classroom.

Jane Lipp

Jane Lipp dramatizes what one form of cheating might look like in the classroom.

Jane Lipp, Ranger Review Reporter

What causes a student to cheat on an assessment like a test or a quiz? In conducting interviews for this article, many said they believe cheating is most commonly found in high performing schools, such as Greely High School. When exploring the culture of cheating, both teachers and students admitted it is hard to get a handle on whether it is prevalent or isolated at Greely.  Sometimes even determining if cheating is even intentional is hard to figure out.

IB Coordinator and math teacher Vanessa Gribbin agrees that cheating can mean one thing to teachers but something else to students.

“I think the most common form of cheating is collusion and I think part of that is because sometimes students are not really clear on how much working together is too much and where that line is crossed,” said Gribbin. 

Gribbin said knowing when the line has been crossed can be a difficult call. 

“I do think there is a little eye wandering and again it’s kind of a fuzzy line. It’s hard as a teacher because they might be the same hints that I would give a student if they asked for it but instead they got it from sort of peeking and not looking at the entire piece of work,” said Gribbin. 

English teacher Katie Dexter often warns students about cheating prior to giving a quiz.

“Before I give out a quiz, I will say, ‘keep your eyeballs on your own quiz,’” said Dexter.

Gribbins believes some students feel pressured to cheat so their grades will remain high.

“The couple of instances that I have been with were shocking in terms of what kind of student it was,” said Gribbin. “Because it was someone you would never ever think would cheat, and they felt pressured, and so they cheated.”

Dexter agrees that some students might feel academic pressure to cheat because they are taking advanced classes.

“As students pursue higher-level classes, I think there is such a stigma attached to not performing well at our school,” said Dexter. “Students feel like they have no choice, that they have to cheat in order to keep up.”

Junior Eliza Ingresoll has some ideas on why students cheat in the first place. 

“I think students only cheat if they truly believe they won’t succeed with what they’ve been taught,” said Ingresoll.  

Other students were asked whether they consider asking another student about the material that was on a test a form of cheating.

“To an extent, it’s one thing to ask about the type of problems, but I think it’s much worse to ask for the direct answers,” said one anonymous student. 

Students were asked if they had observed cheating done by other students, and if so in which classes. 

“Yes, everything, all the time. English less than other classes,” one student said.

“Yes, in science and math classes,” said junior Declan Murphy. 

Many students revealed similar responses when asked if they believe students understand the consequences of cheating. 

“I think some people understand, but they don’t think anything will happen to them? Like they have seen what happens if you get caught but they are more likely to just be more secretive rather than stop,” said junior Abby Lucey

Vice-Principal Don Gray is typically the one to deal with instances of cheating when teachers contact the administration for disciplinary consequences. 

“I would say that I’ve probably been notified of a half dozen instances this year,” Gray said. There are “some instances where teachers handle it right in the classroom.”

Gray believes some forms of cheating are easy to recognize.

“If a teacher saw a student looking at another student’s test, I think it’s pretty clear as to what happened and they may discount credit from the work,” said Gray.

Mr. Gray said efforts have been made to decrease cheating in Greely.

“Certainly English and social studies teachers are giving instructions as to how you document other people’s work correctly to avoid plagiarism,” said Gray. “No cellphones in the classroom during academic time is part of it, too.”