Cheating On The SATs: A Family Dinner Table Talk

09/30/2011 05:53 pm ET | Updated Nov 30, 2011

Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

This week, students from Great Neck, New York who attend one of the top high schools in the country were caught cheating. And, they didn't just get detention. Everyone involved was arrested because they cheated on what is arguably one of the most important tests given -- the SATs.

Out of the seven students involved, six are high school seniors, minors under eighteen years of age, who paid between $1500 and $2500 for someone to take their test for them. That test-taker, Samuel Eshaghoff, is a freshman at Emory University who, as Slate reported "absolutely demolished each exam." (His scores all fell between 2170 and 2220 out of 2400. Wowza.) Since he is 19 -- no longer a minor -- he was arrested on felony fraud charges, and could go to prison for up to four years. But, according to CNN, Eshaghoff's attorney says, "Cheating on tests is something that should be handled in schools, not in criminal courts."

For today's Table Talk, let's look at why something like this might happen, and how you think it should be handled.

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you think the students should be treated as criminals?
  • What do you think the right punishment for this kind of cheating is?
  • Do you ever feel the kind of pressure at school that these teenagers must have felt?
  • Is there someone you can talk to about feeling pressured?
  • Knowing that cheating is not an option, what are other things you can do to succeed at school?

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