I caught two of my students cheating in a test this morning. I feel a bit bad for failing them and making them contact their parents, but it was necessary, and certainly followed the rules. There are consequences to things like that, and many of these kids need to recognize them. I'm sure they are not the only ones, but to accuse, you need strong evidence. Perhaps this'll make them all wake up a bit.
In some cultures (I remember it was like that in Morocco), it doesn't matter how you got your grade, so long as you didn't get caught. I totally disagree with that, but it really is the value structure in many places, including here. I was reading yesterday that over 50% of graduate business students (which was the worst) admit to cheating. When asked why, they said that it would continue into their career because they thought it's okay to cheat in business to get the deal done. That is so wrong, but it is such a hard thing to change because it really is human nature.
I am not perfect, I know that, and I've made mistakes in my life and done things that are wrong, and that I knew were wrong. However, I try not to! I even feel quite guilty about some things I've done still! And when caught I absolutely accept the consequences--and most of all learn from it! Someone caught me shoplifting when I was around 12, and thankfully, no lasting consequences arose from it--but I have never even THOUGHT of doing it since. I tell you it just isn't worth it. I'm not trying to preach... I just want to feel a little bit less bad for confronting these kids. I know I'm right and I don't want to feel bad, but I do.