Alumnus urges integrity

As an alumnus of Harvard High School ’91, I was deeply saddened to learn of the cheating scandal. What makes Harvard-Westlake so special is the tremendous pride that students and alumni feel to be associated with such a prestigious institution.  I am equally as proud when I receive the quarterly HW Life magazine and learn of all of the great accomplishments that current students are achieving. 

So to learn that a handful of students have elected to take advantage of the trust and honor that Harvard-Westlake places upon its student body is all the more troubling. As young adults, it is acceptable to make mistakes. Yet the actions of the individuals involved in this cheating scandal are not “mistakes.”  This is not getting drunk on the weekend or taking the parents’ car out without their knowledge. This goes to integrity and honor.

Perhaps even more disturbing are the comments posted in the Los Angeles Times blog concerning this topic. One blogger writes that, “Cheating is present on all campuses across the country. Students were expelled, but that occurs at other schools. How does this affect anyone outside of the HW community?”

The Harvard-Westlake community must understand that it is not okay to sacrifice honesty and integrity — not under any circumstance.

As Michael Kaplan ’08 points out in his blog on the Chronicle Online, “By stealing these exams, the students involved have tainted the most precious and valued aspect of the school.” I couldn’t agree with Kaplan more. I feel it is essential for the current students of Harvard-Westlake to understand that their actions resonate much further than the Coldwater campus.