Teachers find catching cheaters a challenge

            A main goal and purpose of Davis High School’s new Honor Code is to create a standard punishment for students who are caught cheating. However, in order for the student to be punished, they must be caught first.

            “In math classes it is hard to catch kids cheating,” said AB Calculus teacher Corine Barney. “I have to compare wrong answers or work as I grade. They might just cheat on one question. It is easy to catch cheaters in English classes, you just plug [an essay] into the computer.”

            Social Studies teacher Andrew Wahlstrom said that it takes more time to find out if a student is cheating on their homework. “When I say I am very confident in my ability to catch those who cheat, this is in reference to tests. I am not so confident with homework assessments. It takes much more time comparing homework trying to determine if students are truly doing their work,” he said.

            In a poll of 43 Davis High School students, 65 percent of them said that they don’t have confidence that teachers catch, or, when they do, punish students that cheat.

            “Teachers are in a whole other world while you work,” said senior Krystian Wente. “They leave the classroom sometimes when you take a test.”

            Senior Nate Storey said that he has noticed many times when teachers don’t pay attention to students while they are working. “Teachers ignore the little things,” he said, “but they pay more attention during tests.”

            45.5 percent of teachers said they are not confident in their ability to catch and punish teachers, and punishments range from making a student redo an assignment or a test to an automatic “U” in citizenship.

            Wahlstrom issues a score of zero on an assessment and a “U” when he catches a student cheating, but gives an “F” grade and will ask for an administrative “U” on the second offense. He said that he has “never caught a student with a second offense. Probably because they now know they are on a watch list.”

            Honors English teacher Timothy Larsen has a different approach to the issue. “One well-publicized burning at the stake usually deters other would be cheaters,” he said.