Academic Integrity


Jada Boddy and Aaliyah Huyser


The definition of academic integrity varies from person to person. It’s the moral code or ethical policy of academics. Woodland Park School District’s goal is to enable students to reach their maximum potential and allow kids to develop knowledge, skills and character. However, students in high school often compromise their academic integrity to simply get a good grade.


The interim principle here at Woodland Park High School, Kevin Burr, says that the grades given to you demonstrate your academic ability. His definition of academic integrity is any kind of effort a student puts into their work. If you circumvent the completion of an assignment you are not allowing your grades to reflect the work you put in, therefore cutting yourself short in achieving your maximum academic excellence. Burr explains that when a student takes their final transcript to the college that they commit to the college should be able to trust that they will perform at the level demonstrated by the transcript. They will put students in classes that challenge their abilities and are at a level for their specific academic achievement, if a student compromise’s their academic integrity they may be setting themselves up to fail down the road. Mr. Burr says that cheating has been an issue since the beginning of time, you can see it in academic and nonacademic settings. Burr says that the cheating of final exams during the last semester was the first he had seen an organized effort to compromise academic integrity. He says that the motivation behind cheating is specific to all individualize. Burr says, “Sometimes students feel pressured, by their parents or by what they think is a goal that they must attain… Sometimes they are unprepared…or their motivations are too see what they can get away with”. Students who chose to cheat on finals had to retake the test with a maximum grade they could achieve was a seventy percent, they also had to subject themselves to all consequences.


We spoke with a student, who asked to stay anonymous, who had been a part of the cheating incident that took place during final exams last semester. She said that she was peer pressured in a way. The student says, “I have friends that I wanted to help”. When asked what her motivation was when sending the final exam pictures among our student body, she explains that there were several different emotions when making her decision to cheat or not. The student wanted to because she didn’t want to let anyone down, but she says that she also knew that what she was doing was wrong. She says, “ people snitching on me, so now I don’t feel like I can trust anyone”, when asked how she got caught. Her punishment was for cheating was twenty-five hours of community service, however she did not have to take the final since she was one of the first to take it. The student explains that cheating is constantly happening and it’s become so normal that you may not even realize that you are cheating.