Putting the NA in uNethicAl

“I would cheat on everything. If nobody knows, I will fake the show.”


Sally Cho and Virginia Lucas

Wandering eyes. Snapshots of answer keys. Sharing last year’s paper with a friend. The many forms of cheating for high schoolers today is rampant.

It is no question that students today are under extreme stress due to school and the pressure for academic achievement. In fact, to most students, school isn’t about learning anymore. It’s about grade-chasing, and doing whatever one can to get an A. Students nowadays are more focused on the easiest and quickest way to achieve an A rather than trying to absorb the information learned and truly understand the concepts being taught. Students pull unhealthy all-nighters the day before a test, look up answers to homework questions on Google rather than trying to complete it themselves, etc. 

This kind of stress is worldwide, but it is definitely elevated in a school as competitive as North Allegheny. As “the best of the best” students feel compelled to be perfect and get “that” grade and have “that” GPA and get into “that” school. There are multiple people who graduated from North Allegheny last year and went to an Ivy League school, and students feel like they have to measure up to that.  There have already been dozens of stories published just this year on NAEye about the pressure students are under, but this article is going to take a different approach.

This article is going to examine how far the ambitious, hungry-eyed students of North Allegheny are willing to go for academic achievement. Are the people of NA willing to throw away their morals to achieve their goals? Or will people know when to draw the line?

NAEye conducted a survey where students were asked if they would perform a certain immoral act for a good grade or an acceptance into a college. The questions started off pretty tame, then they gradually got more and more immoral. 

The results and quotes from this survey are anonymous to ensure full honesty from students, and students were told they would face no consequences.

“If people say they don’t do that, they’re lying.” – Anonymous








“If it’s HuG, then yeah.” – Anonymous








“Desperate times call for desperate measures.” – Anonymous









“I would give a teacher $100 dollars so I could just go to sleep.” – Anonymous







“My mom and I have talked about it before.” – Anonymous





“There is a lot of pressure just from hearing the kids around me and lots of discussion about SAT scores that if given the opportunity to do really well, I would.” – Anonymous






“I know that it’s not the right thing, but it would give me success in life and college which is what I really want.” – Anonymous





These results may seem pretty startling to you.  People were saying “Yes” more than they were saying “No”. Most of the students surveyed stated something about feeling pressure to do well in school and wanting to do anything to achieve that. What does that say about the pressure the education system is putting on kids? Do people really want kids to walk away from school with the mindset of “survival of the fittest” and no morals? 

With the pressure that school puts on their students, especially NA with their cutthroat environment, it gets hard at times to put ethics at the forefront of our minds.”

— Anonymous Student


The education system should function as a ladder by helping students to reach higher. Instead, for many kids, it more closely resembles a trash compactor by crushing them. In the face of increasing pressure and stress students are forced to compromise their morals and humanity to succeed.  Life is about so much more than just academic achievement, and the journey is just as important as the destination. It’s time to open students’ minds to that.