Alleged Cheating Prompts Unrest in the Sky High Community
Outrage ensued after a series of scandals involving men’s soccer players’ conduct gathered momentum. An uncomfortable discussion develops within the Sky High community about the inequality between men’s and women’s athletics.
After math teacher Delano F. Franklin told his class that he noticed abnormally high scores on a geometry test, a student came to report that he had seen members of the men’s soccer team — all of whom are in the class — sneak into the math lounge the evening before the test.
“They walked in, came out with a sheet of paper, walked towards the direction of the library, and then came back pretty quickly with multiple sheets of paper in their hands,” Aidan P. Ryan said. “It just seems fishy, like they went to make a copy of the exam.”
This isn't the first time the men’s soccer team has been marred by rumors about academic dishonesty. Last year, five members of the same team cheated on a chemistry exam and received a one-game suspension.
The incident has become the catalyst for a community discussion on the double standard of punishment for male athletes, as well as the unbalanced funding of men’s and women’s sports at the school.
“The administration needs to show that honesty is valued over profit, that all kids at this school will be treated fairly,” parent Simone D. Chu said.
Chu is not alone in her doubts about the morals of the administration — members of the Parent-Teacher Association started a petition calling for the suspension of all the players involved in the latest incident
However, the administration has been adamant that the community needs to be careful about placing blame too early.
“We do not tolerate and have never tolerated this kind of behavior in our community, but we must be able to prove these allegations are true beyond a reasonable doubt before we are able to discuss possible punishments,” Principal Shera L. Avi-Yonah said.
Members of the women’s soccer team said they feel particularly frustrated by the lack of disciplinary action, and believe that it points to a double standard for men’s and women’s sports at Sky High.
“The women’s soccer team has long been underfunded and underappreciated,” coach of the women’s soccer team, Alexis A. Luther said. Citing the lack of equal funding despite winning championships, Luther sees the inaction of the administration as further evidence of preferential treatment for men.
On a different note, the coach of the men’s soccer team vehemently defends his players, and the moral integrity of his team. “They’re hardworking and honest, and I am appalled at how they have been treated by this community,” coach Jonah S. Berger said. He does not believe that his players would do something dishonest, as it goes against the values of his team.
With the championship game ahead, there was pressure on the athletes to secure good grades, since they are required to maintain a C grade point average in order to play.
Students in the course said they feel it is unfair that athletes are not treated the same as other students. .
“Maybe I should try out for soccer next year. They get whatever they want,” geometry student Josh O. Florence said.