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I hear your eyes rolling, the “humph” sound you just made, and the “Yeah, right!” comment forming in your frontal lobe.

Soap Box #1

I’m well over 21, so yes, I know that cheaters sometimes seem to prosper. I, however, believe in an overall more just world and instant karma…which this week, made an example of some mighty prime cheaters.

male student looking over the shoulder of female student

When we were raising our son and daughter (who, I may add, are fine adults with strong moral compasses) we sang that little song of “cheeaaters never prooooossspeeeer” to them when they took the typical short cuts little kids are want to do.

In the assistance of raising my God Son, he too heard the familiar refrain, and could sing it to you today.

There were a number of conversations with the kids as they came home from school or sports frustrated by a cheater. I remember my daughter being outraged while, at the University of Texas, an acquaintance of hers made it clear she intended to cheat to get by on a particular exam.

Outrage and moral indignation as none other than a 19 year old can muster… and I recall telling her at the time, “I only have a trite but true answer to give you Dear- the Cheater only really hurts the Cheater. She will be the same dumb kid walking out of the exam as walking in. Someday, her lack of knowledge will catch up to her. Sadly, you may not be there to witness it- but it’s coming.”

The news this week of the ultra- rich scheming, lying, and cheating to get their kids to the front of the “prestigious college” admissions line made me sick. The upside? We saw them get caught, humiliated, called out by students who worked hard to get into these schools, and shamed by some of the people whose place in line they stole.

It’s rare to see a cheater called out. I hope the heat stays up good and high under their collective buttocks, and their unworthy students get summarily yanked out of school.

Shame too, on the tutors, life coaches, sports coaches, and any other little toadies at the various schools who aided and abetted these cheaters.

Not for nothing- as a parent- what the hell were you thinking? If I had a kid who declared on social media that she really didn’t care about school, and wasn’t sure she’d even attend classes, you can bet I wouldn’t fight to get her into one of the most expensive schools in the country.

The larger debate that this can of worms is kicking off is a debate about just how valuable a college degree is? Is it worth what you pay for it? Is it a “pay to play” degree? The whole system becomes devalued when cheaters tarnish the process- and I mean cheater inside and outside the institutions.

Soap Box #2

Cheating scandals, such as this current debacle, reaffirm my staunch belief in, and support of, apprenticeships; such as ours at IEC Chesapeake.

An electrical apprenticeship is a rigorous schedule of both working full time and completing four years of mathematic and electrical schooling, at night after a full day’s work. It’s demanding mentally and physically.

At IEC Chesapeake, we hold the student responsible for tuition- not the employer. Though many of our member employers have reimbursement structures for apprentices, the student pays his or her tuition. This protects both student and employer.

There is no booster club to bribe. There is no process where you can grease our wheels to get your son or daughter into the program. Everyone takes the same testing- you’re either in or out, or place ahead and skip a year. Those are the options.

Electrical work is dangerous. We are not interested in giving a pass to cheaters who are bound to cost us time, money, or injury in the field.

If you’re taking up space in one of our classrooms- you earned it.

Colleges, take note.

Jenny Boone Business Development
IEC Chesapeake/IECC