Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Breaking, Entering, and Cheating

Last week I wrote about cheating in theory, this week we get the practical application.

So, as final exams loomed and pressure built last June at Hanover High School, some students hatched a scheme for acing the tests: One evening after school was out, a group of students entered the school building, authorities say. While some stood sentry in hallways, others entered a classroom and used stolen keys to break into a teacher's filing cabinet and steal exams for advanced math honors, advanced math, Algebra II, and calculus. Five days later, another group stole chemistry finals. In total, some 50 students are suspected of participating in the thefts, either helping to plan them or receiving answers from stolen exams.

Rather than issuing suspensions or grade demotions, school officials notified police. And after a seven-week investigation, the police prosecutor handling the case brought criminal charges against nine students. Last week, the prosecutor notified the nine students' parents that if they chose to take the cases to trial, he could raise misdemeanor charges to felonies, which carry possible prison terms of 3 1/2 to seven years.

Parents of the accused are furious and frantically trying to reduce charges to violations that carry no criminal penalties, penalties they say could harm their children's chances of attending college or securing employment.

I understand the parents' motivation--no one wants their kids to go to jail. I wonder, though, if they step outside their own situation and listen to how pathetic they sound to the rest of us.

If you're planning enough to have lookouts, you know what you're doing is wrong. Breaking and entering is a felony.

Even if they survive the felony threat, at a minimum they should all be sentenced to--gasp!--community college. To mow the lawns, to clean the toilets, to empty the trash, to sweep the halls. In other words, let them give the custodial staff a little break, and in the process maybe learn a little something about the value of the education that they're trying to acquire on the cheap, the education to which they think they're entitled, the education they're willing to break the law to get.


Anonymous said...

Did you mean sentencing to Community College or Community Service?

Darren said...

Both. My point, though, was that instead of the Ivies, they'd go to community college. And instead of being students, they'd be acquiring some "sweat equity" and perhaps even some "humility equity".

Anonymous said...

You're as bad as the liberals you constantly complain about. Yeah, if they're white and middle-class, they should get community service for felonies. The hell with that - send them to prison, which is exactly what they'd get if they weren't middle-class.

Darren said...

You misunderstood. I said, "EVEN IF THEY SURVIVE THE FELONY THREAT, they should all be sentenced to--gasp!--community college."

Comparing me to liberals, and saying I'm racist, doesn't fly here, especially when what you're quoting doesn't support those claims.

You owe me an apology.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to say that the second anonymous poster to this article is not the same person who posted the first question. I posted the first question, but not the second question... I really need to figure out how to post with a name.

Darren said...

Instead of posting as "anonymous", click on "other". Then you can put in a name or nom de plume, but not have to register with Blogger.