I was reading an article this week regarding kids cheating in school. In this article were the conjectures of people trying to explain away the fact that in a recent survey, some 65% of students admitted to cheating. It included plagiarism of essays, traditional test cheating; the whole range of dishonesty when it came to their academics. The reason given as to why more kids are admitting to cheating today was the great pressure our children are under today, along with the new tools available to carry out the deed, such as the availability of the internet. There were no steps toward changing this behavior that I remember being put forward in the article.
Is it really surprising that more kids are cheating and admitting to it? Not really. For decades now the prevailing philosophy toward morality is that morality is relative. You might think something is wrong, but someone else might not, so there’s really no absolute standard of right or wrong. It’s relative to you and your situation. Sound familiar? That’s because our society at large seems to have embraced and taught moral relativism, as evidenced in the expressed philosophy of many educational institutions. For example, the Ten Commandments, once prominently displayed in public schools have been removed, as I read in one commentary, for concern that children might follow them!
Is it really the fact that kids are under so much pressure now the reason that more admit to cheating? I don’t think so. Kids are people. We all have defective hearts that will pursue evil if allowed. Kids need to be taught that morality is absolute; that it’s absolutely wrong to cheat, to lie, to steal, to be sexually immoral and on and on. And then we need to hold them to that standard by applying consequences, reasonable ones, for violating those rights and wrongs. When we do, we’ll raise a generation of people who will carry honesty, integrity and morality into their adult lives and live happier and more fulfilled because of it. We can’t let our kids grow up believing that they are the helpless victims of forces beyond their control. Let’s love them enough to confront them in a loving but firm and consistent manner. They will thank us later. Blessings, PB