The Values We Hold Most Dear

St. Thomas High School was founded on the principles of Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge, but recently those values have not been making themselves known. Over the past month or so countless cheating scandals have occurred leaving the St. Thomas administration puzzled with what the student body has come to. What could be the driving force behind the lack of care among students and the utter disregard for academic integrity? I believe that the current behavior we see at St. Thomas is caused by a multitude of things from the general high school teenage lackadaisical disposition, to new cutting edge ways to get around doing work.

Many teachers came to put up with the fact that cheating became way too easy over online school. No matter what they tried there would always be a new work around, and being stuck inside all the time did not give the student body much reason to give any effort in school. Nevertheless, as we began the transition back to in person school many students were too comfortable with the minimal course loads of online schooling. While some were looking forward to coming back, many dreaded having to crack books again or study for tests after they had that sweet taste of zero accountability. Along with this many people walked into class having no idea what they had been doing all year which left them with only two options: try to learn a semester’s worth of information in a very small amount of time, or cheat their way out of it. As the logical person would expect, the vast majority of students chose the latter.

As a rebuttal to this previous argument one might ask: it is 2023 and we have been in school for a while, why are students still cheating on everything they can? This is a valid point to make. We are long removed from online school and most of us have returned completely back to normal, but that is not where the issue lies. The issue spurs from how difficult it is to force teenage boys to things the difficult way again when they were rewarded with good grades and practically no work for two years before. With the ever growing distractions from studies and the continual efforts of the administration to minimize cheating, we have reached the breaking point where bone is rubbing on bone and some major changes need to be made in order to continue forward. Some sizable changes have been made recently about the phone policy in certain classes, but this only frustrates students and makes them feel like they are being coddled.

 In reality it comes down to the morality of the student body, and this goes across the board. If the students have a growing disdain for their superiors, nothing will stand in their way when it comes to making poor decisions. On the contrary, if the administration can regain the respect of the students, then I think a lot of their problems will cease to run rampant.