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Study Shows US Students Lie, Cheat and Steal


Thirty percent of high school students in the US have stolen from a store and 64 percent have cheated on a test this year alone, according to a new survey that suggests Americans are apathetic about ethical standards. A Los Angeles-based ethics institute surveyed 29,760 students at 100 randomly selected high schools nationwide, both public and private. Some of the key findings include:

  • Thirty-five percent of boys and 26 percent of girls—30 percent overall—acknowledged stealing from a store within the past year.
  • One-fifth said they stole something from a friend; 23 percent said they stole something from a parent or other relative.
  • Cheating in school is rampant and getting worse. Sixty-four percent of students cheated on a test in the past year and 38 percent did so two or more times, up from 60 percent and 35 percent in a 2006 survey.
  • Thirty-six percent said they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment, up from 33 percent in 2004.
  • Forty-two percent said they sometimes lie to save money—49 percent of the boys and 36 percent of the girls.

A representative from the National Association of Secondary School Principals suggests social pressures prompt some students to cut corners and that today's competition and opportunities to cheat are greater than past decades. Do you think it's easier for today's students to cheat with advanced technologies, or do you think our ethical standards have gone the way of the typewriter?

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