March 2, 2005 12:00
I am a proud member of the Episcopal School of Acadiana's Class of 2005, the class of which many of the cheating students were members ("Class Action," Feb. 16).

I am also absolutely dumbfounded that the Glod family would sue the school to remove the failing grade from her transcript and appalled at the attempt to justify why. They claim that because our teacher used old tests in class, we were invited to cheat. This is absurd. This argument is the same as saying that because girls wear short skirts, they are inviting rapists, or that because humans are mortal, they invite murder.

I have had the opportunity to cheat many times throughout my ESA career, yet I never have. If we were driven to cheating by the use of old tests, then why did I not cheat? Because I know better.

Attacking Dr. Arthur White for using the same tests is completely out of line. He is the embodiment of everything for which that school stands. Unlike most history teachers, he almost never needs to refer to textbooks to answer our questions. His grasp of the subject material is greater than I ever thought possible. I learned more about life sitting in his class for 45 minutes a day than anything else I have experienced. I am a better person for having taken his class. He reused tests because he completely trusted us, but that trust was broken by the students who willfully cheated. Neither our teacher nor the school invited the transgression. The family supposedly suffered from, "extreme humiliation, damage to reputation, and severe mental and emotional distress," but so has ESA and its students.

The family says the daughter's college prospects are damaged because of the failing grade on her transcript. The grade is part of the punishment for cheating in the class. Had she done the honorable thing and not cheat, she never would have risked causing trouble for herself and others. Honor is the most important value ESA teaches us, and she failed by cheating. She is simply being held responsible for her actions. Our actions can have unforeseen consequences, so we should ideally try to do the right thing all the time. This is a harsh reality present throughout life, and it is a tough lesson to learn.