C1: “Is Cheating Bad Or Good?”

January 23, 2002

Anyone who has followed Channel One knows it is a “value neutral” enterprise. There are no absolutes to the executives that run C1. A young person has the right to think any way they want on any issue – including cheating.

Today’s article on the web site is entitled: “The Cheat Sheet – More and more students appear to be cheating lately. Is it ever OK?”

Good grief!

Jim Metrock said, “You can almost hear parents and teachers groan as they read this headline. Channel One just doesn’t understand the special nature of their audience. I can imagine Channel One asking kids next week to vote on whether robbing a convenience store is ‘OK’ or ‘not OK’.”

A few years ago, Channel One shocked educators and students when they wrote an article for their web site that instructed young people on how to cheat on book reports. Channel One wrote that children could watch certain movies, which they listed, and get by without reading assigned books.

Instructing children on HOW to cheat is only part of Channel One’s problem. In the newest article C1 demoralizes children by reporting on a study that shows most students cheat.

They offer the young visitors to their site a chance to VOTE on whether cheating is wrong or OK. Here is the exact language on their site:

“Is it OK to cheat?

1. Yes, everyone does it.

2. No, it’s morally wrong and you won’t learn anything by doing it.

3. Sometimes — like when you forget there’s a test that day.


C1 gives children two choices to say cheating is OK and one for saying it’s wrong. It is no surprise to see the results. On January 23 the results were:

Cheating is wrong – 43.6%

Cheating is OK – 41.2%

Cheating is OK sometimes – 15.2%

Channel One is morally bankrupt. No parent would want this company to be anywhere near their child. Read Channel One’s “funny” How to Cheat article for yourself. C1 never apologized for that article. Indeed, Paul Folkemer, the former head of C1’s education department, tried to explain away the article to a school board in Franklin, PA in 2000.

Here is Channel One’s article published today on their web site. Imagine a child that is trying his or her best to do honest work in school and Channel One is telling him or her that they are in a minority. Everyone cheats, kid, what’s the matter with you.

The writer of this article is probably someone in their twenties who has no idea how demoralizing these words are to thousands of children.

“The Cheat Sheet – More and more students appear to be cheating lately. Is it ever OK?

By Stephanie L. Smith

Have you ever peeked at someone else’s answers during an exam, copied a friend’s homework or “forgotten” to cite a source within a term paper? If your answer is “yes,” then you’ve cheated, and according to a recent study put out by the Rutgers University, you’re not the only one.

Of the high school students surveyed, 74 percent admitted to cheating on a test. That number is a lot larger than in 1992, when the Josephson Institute of Ethics reported that 61 percent of students had cheated on an exam in the past year.

Even more interesting is that 54 percent of students in the Rutgers study said they’d used the Internet to plagiarize for a paper.

But as more students use the Web to cheat, teachers are using it to catch them. In an attempt to fight fire with fire, many educators are referring to Web sites such as TurnItIn.com which screen students’ papers and check for originality.

The widespread cheating problem is driving some teachers to the breaking point. ChannelOne.com spoke with one such teacher who taught chemistry at an all-girls high school before resigning out of frustration. She told us that cheating became so rampant in her classroom that it was necessary to have everyone drop their book bags at the door and take their tests in randomly assigned seats while she patrolled the room.

“It made me feel terrible to have to play that role and be such a hard-nosed person,” says the ex-teacher. “I did it for the sake of the girls who I knew really worked their butts off and studied for the test.”

One third of the students polled in the Rutgers survey cited cheating in order to get high grades. Without a tip-top GPA, they say they won’t get into college. But many students rarely stop to think that if their scheming does work, old habits die hard. While getting caught cheating in high school will probably only get you a zero on the test, cheating in college could get you kicked out.

Cheating is clearly against school rules, yet many students continue to do it. Why? Are you OK with cheating? Sound off on our message boards.”

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