Sharing Your Homework Is Caring

The CHS policy of prohibiting students from sharing their homework is misguided. The qualities that we value most in society include generosity, empathy and compassion. Parents teach their kids how to share and be kind to others long before they teach them how to read and write. No one wants to live in constant distrust and suspicion of the people around them, which is why societies around the world try to instill kindness and compassion into future generations. In fact, democracy cannot function unless citizens understand and are committed to helping others, instead of only helping themselves. If CHS is preparing students to join the real world, then the school should stop adopting policies that teach students that helping out a friend is cheating and therefore wrong.

Administrators should be asking themselves what kind of character traits their policies are creating in students. Students are being taught that if a friend needs help, they should refuse. If someone comes into class stressed out because they did not finish the assignment from the day before and asks for help, the implication is that classmates should say no and let them suffer. This is the exact opposite of the type of people we strive to embody as adults. As a society we look up to people who spend their lives giving back to and helping others that are struggling. Instilling lessons of empathy and generosity in school can lead to positive consequences experienced throughout society. Those lessons will last as students reach adulthood and act more kindly in day-to-day life.

It could be said that allowing students to share homework only fosters an environment that makes it okay for students to use each other and never learn how to work on their own, but this is precisely the wrong lesson to be teaching the leaders of tomorrow. Throughout life, people constantly rely on and trust one another. People drive on the same roads, eat at the same restaurants, and live in the same neighborhoods. This is all done under the assumption that our fellow citizens are, for the most part, good. People must assume that other drivers are paying attention, that waiters are not going to poison their food, and that neighbors are not going to rob houses. The same can be said about homework. If the administration believes that most students are inherently bad, then the policy should be to never share homework. However, if the administration believes that most students have morals, and understand that riding off of someone else’s work is inherently wrong, then they should be accepting of the fact that sometimes people have bad days and that school is a place where students should learn to help each other up, not put one another down.

The good news is that for the most part, CHS has a lot of understanding, kind, and compassionate students who are willing to share homework with their classmates even when it is technically not allowed. Now is the time to take the next step and stop stigmatizing student collaboration and generosity. Instead, CHS should strive to teach its students life lessons of kindness, teamwork, and compassion for others.