A High School Student Speaks Out – Why I Cheat

A sophomore wrote the following Comment, which explains not only why students cheat, but gives a pretty good rundown of the types and amount of work many high schoolers get each night.

Why I Cheat
by a High School Sophomore

To start off, I’m a sophomore in a relatively prestigious private institution; I have an IQ over 180. I don’t need to cheat. But why wouldn’t I? Hell, I don’t bother on tests, I get all the answers right before most kids in my class, but the sheer volume of homework I receive every night is absolutely ridiculous! Tell me, if I’m already investing 8 hours in school, 2 in sports, 2 in other ECs, how in the hell do my teachers expect me to add 6 more hours to homework?

I’m not stupid, it’s not a matter of me being slow with my work, there just aren’t enough hours in a day for school, rugby practice, play rehearsal, and that much homework! I’ll give a run-down of what I’m supposed to do tonight:

AP U.S. History: Take (meticulous) notes on chapters 40?–?43 (the end of the text, thank [insert deity here].) Prepare for in-class essay on any thing that occurred during Roosevelt’s presidency. Okay, so that’s not so bad, but we still have another 6 classes to cover.

English II: Read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and be prepared for a test tomorrow or the next day. Two work sheets on Moby Dick. I should probably also start on the autobiography due next week, since I can’t really cheat on that.

Latin II: Translate two books of Jason, test tomorrow.

Algebra II/Trig: 78 problems covering material that our teacher has conveniently for gotten to teach us.

Biology: Not too bad, just read and summarize a few articles from Scientific American and write up a lab report.

Gym (yes, gym): Look up all sorts of vocabulary concerning sports that nobody has played since the middle ages, and memorize it in two days

AP Stat: Busyworkbusyworkbusyworkbusyworkbusywork

How the staff a) expects students to do this much work while maintaining sleep/sanity (luckily I’m an insomniac and I went insane long, long ago) and b) thinks that any body does some of this ridiculous @%!&, is absolutely beyond me.

The only kids who don’t cheat are the kinds in all fundamentals classes who don’t know any better. If I could begin to describe to you the network of cheating that runs beneath this school, well, you probably wouldn’t really be all that surprised, but it’s still ridiculous.

Anyway, I feels good to get this off my chest. I predict that nobody will ever read this rant, but if you do, and by some miracle you made it here to the end, please know that this post was fueled by 12 sleepless nights, a fever, and a mos­quito that has been in my room for the past hour that is pissing me the hell off.

Thank you, good night.

51 Comments on “A High School Student Speaks Out – Why I Cheat”

  1. PsychMom says:

    I read your rant twice! Not surprised (twice) about all the necessary cheating…
    I don’t see how this type of educational system would do anything but stimulate cheating. There is no way anyone can do that amount of work on one’s own, so tag teaming it seems to be the only way to manage. I already do this with my 8 year old. If she brings home work that comes with attachments (ie, parents must get involved) that’s my cue to do the homework my way. My way is to look at the clock and set the timer on the microwave for 5 minutes. Then she writes while I dictate. It’s got nothing to do with what she knows and everything to do with my ability to teach….and I have very little ability in that regard. I’m certainly not willing to teach something at 7:30 pm. anyway.
    Do what you need to do to survive this rat race. College, should you choose to go there, will be better,

    March 25th, 2010 at 7:45 am
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  2. K says:

    Of course we have to stop assigning so much homework… see how rude it makes them?

    And, yes, it is simply unecessary to overburden people.

    On the flip side, tacitly letting kids cheat because “everyone does it” or “the workload is unreasonable” plays further into the system.

    How about setting up a meeting with the headmaster/mistress and providing them the following:
    – a copy of your schedule
    – a list of the assignments for all of your classes over hte previous two-three weeks
    – genuine concern for wanting the best overall learning experience in school
    – better still if several of you can approach the administration with these concerns (and items) together so it is clear that the problem is global and not isolated to a particular schedule that you selected.

    A reasonable school administration will appreciate this. This is clearly a case of multiple teachers not really seeing the overall perspective of how much work is assigned across the curriculum. Provide a reasonable notion of what you think can be accomplished to enhance classroom teaching (read this, but not summarize; etc.).

    If you aren’t happy about something – try to fix it. Your rant is a good place to start (you have organized some of the issues).

    A private school shouldn’t have to answer to onerous federal regulations, so should be more ready to comply.

    March 25th, 2010 at 9:20 am
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  3. Anonymous says:

    PsychMom, I have to disagree with you on this comment: “Col­lege, should you choose to go there, will be better.” (Sorry, High School Sophomore.)

    College, unfortunately, was where I became discouraged with “the system.” Over 20 years ago, I entered college as a bright, excited pre-med student (to be a veterinarian). First semester began with a freshman Chemistry class with about 400 students, a teacher who didn’t want to teach, and many classmates who thought cheating on tests was acceptable (and who would know in a class that size if someone was cheating?) The professor graded on a curve to intentionally “weed out” students (as almost everyone in that lecture hall was pre-med during freshman year and the university just couldn’t support that many pre-meds moving forward).

    As I struggled to understand the concepts that our teacher was NOT teaching, I realized that I had no hope of keeping my GPA up at a respectable level if I was competing against cheaters on that curve. (And us pre-vet students were repeatedly reminded that if we couldn’t average at least 3.4 in our sciences, we had no hope of getting into veterinary school.)

    Needless to say, I abandoned my pre-med dreams after freshman year. This occurred at a large and prestigious university. I often wonder if I had attended a much smaller college if I would have survived and thrived in the sciences.

    My life has taken a happy and different path in the end, but I would not for one minute assume that things will change in college.

    March 25th, 2010 at 9:37 am
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  4. tired mom says:

    I feel your pain! There is just not enough hours in the day to remain sane. I was also a cheater in high school. A straight “A”, teacher’s pet, good-girl cheater. I always did my homework and always made good grades, but I was too seriously bored to memorize the details of the material. If all the tests had been essay I wouldn’t have cheated, but memorizing dates and petty facts that I’ve never used in my life and had nothing to do with understanding the material was more than I could take!

    March 25th, 2010 at 4:38 pm
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  5. SailorEris says:

    It is really creepy how much my “assignment planner” looks like this high school sophomore’s list of homework; and I’m in 6th grade!
    Here’s a list of my order of doing things after the 3:00 pm bell (at school) rings:
    Any after school activites,
    get home w/ mom,
    try math homework,
    greet dad when he comes home,
    homework while dinner,
    dad checks math homework while I work on more,
    break to read the Stop Homework website (now),
    correct math homework,
    ignore mom telling me to brush my teeth at 8:00 pm,
    social studies homework,
    reading homework,
    check clock,
    ponder how it got to be so late,
    religion homework (I go to a Catholic school),
    anything else due the next day,
    complain about homework,
    brush teeth,
    go to bed (usually around 11:00 pm).

    Break’s almost over and back to homework I go…

    p.s. Sorry my list seems so long, it’s just because a lot of things happen between 3 and 11 pm. Also for refrence, I wake up at about 6:30 am, so I have 6 1/2 hours sleep. No one says its enough, but I’m starting to live with it. ‘sigh’ C’est la vie.

    March 25th, 2010 at 6:42 pm
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  6. HomeworkBlues says:

    Sailor, you’re only in 6th grade? You are much too creative and funny to be spending all your free time doing mandatory adult-directed assignments. Remember, I’m opposed to homework but not learning. Learning picks up where homework leaves off. The year my daughter was homeschooled, the year we banished the word homework for one magical year, she learned more than in all her schooling combined. She had assignments, but we NEVER called it homework. EVER. That word was too loaded and had accumulated too much baggage over the years.

    Sailor, my daughter would spend five to six hours doing homework too, in 6th grade. My biggest regret is that I didn’t yank her out that year and begin homeschooling two years sooner.

    Good luck to you, Sailor. Please talk to your parents. Involve them so they can talk to your teachers. You shouldn’t have to put up with all that dogma in private school. .Right now they need you more (income) than you need them. Even if you’re on scholarship.

    March 25th, 2010 at 7:13 pm
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  7. Fed up with schools says:

    I would really like to know what this type of homework load is accomplishing, other than to stress out and wear out our children, not to mention make them hate school and anything to do with learning.

    March 25th, 2010 at 9:44 pm
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  8. HomeworkBlues says:

    I’m mourning the loss of childhood as I read the comments from all these high achieving teens. An ode to children and our love for them. Getting so caught up in school and tests and homework so that we just can’t see the forest for all the trees. Reminding schools and ourselves once again why we love our children and what it means to be alive. What it means to be her mother and why I signed up for this gig in the first place:


    March 26th, 2010 at 8:44 am
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  9. PsychMom says:

    That video was nice…and you know what…none of it had anything to do with schools.

    I feel sad when I talk to friends who have 4 year olds who look towards this coming fall with trepidation over the start of school. I feel sad that they need support and coaching and education about how to defend themselves and their children against the system. It should not be this way.
    I also feel sad when a parent is very excited and happy to send their kids off to school, because either they will shortly be disappointed or they will succumb to the pressure and in turn pressure their kids. Any way I look at it, it’s not a good thing. It’s not a natural healthy progression. It’s something to get through, to tackle…to live through despite the hardship of it.

    March 26th, 2010 at 9:21 am
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  10. HomeworkBlues says:

    I don’t understand why we have to murder childhood in order to prepare for adulthood. Why can’t we have both? That schools have proven themselves so inept at raising children (wait, they don’t raise them, we do! That’s the whole point!) to the point where it’s almost criminal (wait, it IS criminal. Since when did child abuse suddenly become okay?) is something I have come to expect.

    But where are the professionals, the safekeepers of childhood? Where are the pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health experts? If I were more cynical, I’d say they all have something to gain. Somebody’s getting rich off all of this.

    Oh, yes, childhood experts do cry out, we have the Alliance for Childhood but we don’t need “recommendations” from them, we need a full scale assault. That schools care more about protecting their jobs than protecting our children, I have sadly grown to expect. But that we allow it, that we stand by and suck it up, this I cannot fathom.

    March 26th, 2010 at 9:43 am
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  11. PsychMom says:

    I saw on Amazon this morning that there is a new book coming out called, “Homework for Grown-ups”. It’s billed as a book full of all that “important” knowledge we adults have forgotten so that we can pass on this useless information to our children, I guess. The tradition lives on. Knowing the dates of all the great European battles can again be yours. So it’s a Homework for Dummies kind of thing geared to us hapless parents.

    My question is this: If it wasn’t important enough for us to remember it, why should we worry about re-learning it so that both we and our children can forget it all over again?

    I’m of an age where I’m beginning to think that the homework my child should be doing is teaching her near- senior age mother (next year I qualify for discounts in some stores) some new aspect of technology.

    And it’s very telling that on our recent two day get away, the biggest fun we had besides swims in the pool, was playing ping pong and table shuffleboard. Oh my poor kid.

    March 26th, 2010 at 11:43 am
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  12. FedUpMom says:

    the book is here:


    looks completely useless.

    March 26th, 2010 at 12:18 pm
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  13. HomeworkBlues says:

    My daughter’s close friend’s mother walked right into it, unwittingly, a few years ago. The two girls were in 7th Gifted Talented Center together. Both girls have ADD. Mom was complaining that homework is a nightly struggle, despite the fact the girl is brilliant. Which she is, no doubt about it.

    Mom: I take away her video games when she doesn’t do homework. She has to do her homework.

    Me: Well, think about it. Yes, she needs an education. But have you given any thought to the homework, the quality, the quantity, the usefulness?

    Mom: No. She has to do it. I had to do it, she has to do it.

    Me: Do you remember the homework in 7th grade?

    Mom: Of course not! But I had to learn it, so she has to learn it too.

    Me: You don’t remember any of it? Has it been useful in your life? And by useful, I don’t mean, do you use it? I don’t use Algebra daily but I’m sure glad I learned it. But did your homework lend itself to learning and retaining?

    Mom: Nope. I really remember very little of it. But I had to do it and she has to do it too.

    Read: I did it. I didn’t like it one bit. As a result, I forgot all of it. But now I am going to make my child do it too. She hates it just as much as I did. Doesn’t matter. It’s useless but she has to do it. She’ll forget it and someday she’ll make her own child do what we both had to do but loathed. Viva la tradicion!

    End note: I went to an amazing school. I actually do remember what I learned there! I told my daughter, the goal is to find a school like that for your children. A place they will love and cherish and consequently, remember most of what they learned during the years spent there.

    March 26th, 2010 at 12:57 pm
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  14. PsychMom says:

    Exactly HWB…this has been my guiding principle as well. My first 5 years was in a city public school that was typical 1960’s school, but the teaching was excellent and there was no homework. I remember all my teachers. We then moved to the country and I was in a tiny school but again, excellent experiences…the school property was huge and every spring the Grade 6,7,8’s tapped maple trees and cooked off some maple sugar…we did orienteering in summer, cross country skiing in winter. I learned all the provincial premiers (equivalent of governors in the US) and learned how our municipal, provincial and federal governments worked. In Grade 7, our new principal decided to try rotating the Grade 7 and 8’s for different subjects “to get them used to high school”. I recall how dumb that was in our tiny school. So I guess even then, they worried about “preparing” for the next years….but I don’t recall this insane pressure. Marks were important and I was a good student, but I was also cared about and nurtured in school…and that’s what I remember. In Grade 8, my parents took my sister and I out of school for three weeks that spring to go on an across Canada trip…nobody had any objections. The teachers said the experience was not to be missed.

    Contrast that with a report that just came out regarding absenteeism in public schools here in Nova Scotia. Teachers overall feel that family vacations are not a legitimate excuse for absenteeism. Interestingly, students and parents both expressed in this survey that the relationship with the teacher had a big influence on school attendence and school success. Teachers however, do not.

    March 26th, 2010 at 2:07 pm
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  15. HomeworkBlues says:

    Race to Nowhere: The Case Against Homework


    March 26th, 2010 at 2:26 pm
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  16. M. H. Rossi says:

    Can someone please tell me when we, as a collective (or loosely organized? that’s okay too) body, are going to stick our heads out the windows and start screaming “we’re mad as hell and not going to take it any more!” Because until we do, it’s not going to change.

    March 27th, 2010 at 11:25 am
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  17. HomeworkBlues says:

    FedUp and Psych, concerning that book, I took a peek and agreed, completely useless. And insulting. It gets at the heart of everything we have been processing here since we three joined. Status quo: Send it all home and then teach the hapless parents how to teach it to their kids. Without any input on what you must teach.

    My counter-offer? Throw out the middleman and just teach the darned thing yourself. Why should you spend all your free time doing the school’s bidding? Why should you have to do a crash course in homework?

    For those who are in a position to homeschool, seize the reins. You are already homeschooling, may as well make it official. This way, you and your family call the shots, you can embark on child led learning (you would be amazed at how much your children learn when they have a say in it, when it’s relevant and interesting and engrossing and when you are not hitting them over the head with boring worksheets after a long day of school) and you can learn right along with them. There is so much curricula out there, who needs a Homework for Dummies book?

    March 27th, 2010 at 1:39 pm
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  18. tracey says:

    Homework Blues: EXACTLY. That’s one of the main reasons we were able to make the jump into homeschooling. We were ALREADY teaching the kids everything in the evening (when they were exhausted and stressed and bored with learning). Now we just do the homework during the day and enjoy our evenings!

    April 7th, 2010 at 8:25 pm
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  19. HomeworkBlues says:

    Tracy, Bingo. That is EXACTLY why I homeschooled that one year. And if I had it to do all over again, I would have yanked her out in kindergarten and kept going.

    The homework really got bad when I switched my daughter to public school. Each Friday she came home with a bulging folder, showcasing all her work that week. I eagerly pulled it out of her backpack to see what she’d done at school. I pulled out a paper. Oh, I recognize that, she did that on Monday. Pulled out another sheet. Oh, yea, that. That was Tuesday. Extracted a packet. Oh, yes, that late nighter on Wednesday and Thursday.

    I sat there, scratching my head. Wait, what did they do in school? It dawned on me clearly. We’re doing all the work! She’s doing it, I’m stuck home, making her do it. What a life! I was sending my child to school to get an independent grader. My ten year old was doing it all at home and she went to school to get a grade. No comments, just a grade. For this, we were sweating, giving up afternoons, weekends and “vacations?”

    To any parent who says, I could never homeschool, my response is, you already are.

    April 8th, 2010 at 6:43 am
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  20. Anonymous says:

    I definately agree. I gave up on doing my homework because there’s too much and half the time I have no clue how to do it.

    April 8th, 2010 at 7:20 am
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  21. Anonymous says:

    “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” Einstein

    April 9th, 2010 at 1:21 pm
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  22. Over-Loaded Junior says:

    I’m a junior in high school in America, and I go to a prestigious boarding and day school called Darlington School in Rome, Ga, USA.

    As a boarding student, I am allotted two hours each night to do my homework. After that, what ever is not done, is, apparently, my fault because I wasted time. Yes. Of COURSE I wasted time. I was only doing the 30 math problems I have for homework in Alg 3/Trig, and then the four reading sections for my U.S. History class, and then the annotated bibliography and thesis for the same class, not to mention the three workbook pages I have for spanish plus the extra book exercises that I have IN THE SAME CLASS, plus my reading for english. How much, you ask? 3 chapters.

    Is it any wonder that I come to school on an hour of sleep and still have work undone? Is it any wonder that I’m constantly tired and have no energy, despite how healthy I eat?

    Oh, and I’m not some un-involved kid. I run Cross Country, I swim, and I run track. Three different sports. And I still have all that homework. There’s simply not enough time to get it all done. Our teachers give us college-level work, but expect it due the next day, and then have the NERVE to complain about how much it is to grade. Tell you what: You don’t assign it, you wouldn’t have that problem, now would you?

    If they want to assign college-level work, they need to remember that this is high school–ergo, we show up every day instead of once every week or two weeks. Expecting all that work the next day is only wearing kids out. Being tired is a common state here at Darlington. Parents do nothing because, after all, they want their kids to have the best future that they can have, right? And if they collapse from exhaustion, so what? As long as they make great grades, who cares?

    Well, I’m tired of being sleep-deprived, and I’m sick of having no time to myself because of the amount of work I have.

    I just want someone to understand that all this pressure isn’t helping. It only makes it worse and it makes us unwilling to learn. And parents, you’re to blame, too. Don’t tell us that it’s easier if only we work harder. Do you have any idea how hard we’re already working? We have more homework than you ever did–don’t say you know how we feel. You have no idea. The amount of work that you had in college is what we have now–in High School.

    So if anyone cares, this Junior is sick of it and is rallying for a change. Because this isn’t acceptable anymore.

    April 12th, 2010 at 12:51 pm
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  23. Anonymous says:

    I believe homework should be limited to an hour and a half or less each night. I’m sure many busy American students would agree with my opinion due to the fact that they probably lead a very busy life style, as do I. I do believe that it is good to make kids work hard, but over working them just defeats the purpose of doing and understanding their work With tow essays to write, a math assignment, reading to do, a vocab assignment, and a presentation to work on, this is just way too much. First off, a kid loses attention when he or she is at home doing homework. This causes a kid to most likely get work done slower and also is why 80 percent of students cheat to get to the top half of their class. Secondly, with that much homework, he or she is tempted to take the easy way out and copy their friends on some things in order to make time for the more important assignments. Interesting fact, 9 out of ten kids copy their friends homework sometime or another. My third point is we all have after school activities that require work and time which it is hard to give them with eight hours of homework. Fourthly, kids often lose sleep trying to fit a lot of homework into their schedule which causes lack of effort, and lack of energy needed for the next day. 40 percent of kids lose sleep in result of school work.
    Along with families, sports, activities, music, friends, eating, growing and sleeping, homework just does not have a big enough time slot for the amount of work we are given. I think a solution to this would be to do more of our work in school, there for less homework. My guess is the result would be better grades and happier kids.

    April 18th, 2010 at 10:30 pm
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  24. Anonymous says:

    That’s just ridiculous. That’s not advanced work, that’s busy work. 78 math problems!! My class never gets more than 20, if we get homework.

    May 11th, 2010 at 6:20 pm
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  25. maple370 says:

    When I read everyone’s comments, I feel like I’m finally “home.” Honestly, it has literally sickened me (I have some serious health issues stemming from the stress of my child’s school and this insane race to college – has anyone been on collegeconfidential.com where the parents will tell someone with 6 AP courses and a GPA of 3.9 or 4.0 unweighted that they are not a candidate for an ivy league school because there are too many people far better than they? or have you the stomach to read “What High Schools Don’t Tell You” – to see how this mother/college counselor got her sons to the PHD level before revealing her secrets? If you read this, you will feel like your child is a slacker and failure because they can’t do it all.

    To see the amount of homework my child has gotten from 5th grade on at private school is egregious. My child is one of the few honest kids who does not cheat, and just finished 9th grade with honors (90-93 in this school). But at what cost? Up at 5:30am to get to school by 7am (we have an hour commute down due to traffic and then I have to turn around and go home, and repeat the same in the pm). If there is theater rehearsal, there’s a break from 4-6pm to wait for the “sports” kids to finish (mine doesn’t do sports, doesnt’ like them), then from 6-8pm theater rehearsal regardless of your role.

    The insanity of the homework this year was nuts. Homework in every subject – World History (reading about empires and dynasties that will mean nothing in the future) 1-1.5 hours a night; math (first time having a good teacher) 15-20 minutes/night if that – he didn’t believe in tests but had to do the mandatory 4 tests per quarter just for the school (he felt they weren’t necessary adn the kids loved him and they all did fabulous this year); Bio, ah yes, bio! This teacher taught the class, which was not an honors bio class, as though it were pre-med! The AP bio teacher filled in one day and said he couldn’t believe the amount and intensity of the work and he was going to use it for his AP class! The teachers NEVER give the homework in class, they wait until 8pm at night to assign it! Can you believe this? They email the homework because all the kids use computers in class – not like the old days when they had no way of getting in touch with you after school so they HAD to give the homework in class! The bio teacher gave extra credit if you had a blackberry (kids were making their parents return their phones just to get extra credit!) so she could bbm them at all hours; she gave extra credit if you guessed the winner of the superbowl! Every night 2.5 hours of homework: review sheets (6 questions per page; 10 pages) and all required essay format with lab work! I complained the first week of school because they got more homework than the honors class but weren’t getting credit for it! I was told that was just the way it was – each teacher is different – so if you had an easy honors teacher, you got an A, but if you had a maniac regular bio teacher who taught a heck of a lot more, you got what you got. My kid is not science inclined, but was so obsessed with doing well out of fear, scored an A at the end of the year after starting with a C. I would tell my child to go to sleep by 10-11 but it didn’t happen because of fear of not finishing homework and getting points taken off. English, they would be given 5- 10 chapters to read and annotate/night of books they despised and be dozing when the clock hit midnight. ( French (1.5 hrs) while eating!

    EC’s???? What are they??? Ha! My child had to give them all up because of the amount of homework starting in 7th grade! Tennis, crew, voice, acting, no way unless it was done on the weekend, which was time to catch up with sleep! On weekends, the bio teacher would start bbm’ing them from 7 in the morning with homework and all day as though she had no life (she had a husband and 2 young children – pity them)! One night we came out of a wedding at midnight, and the teacher had sent 6 messages with the last one at 11:45pm – more review questions. She was insane and held extra help classes on day after thanksgiving (most of the rich kids were away); her own holiday Rosh Hoshanah; and Memorial Day (yes the day). On mother’s day weekend, I told my child that if this woman hadn’t sent homework by friday night, it would not be done and i’d write a note. My child emailed the teacher and the teacher must have been bombarded by angry parents kids and she said anyone who emailed her friday night saying they were spending time with their moms on the weekend was free of homework, the rest of the kids had to do it (meanwhile my child and all the others still had to do it because there was a huge test on the following tuesday which included the work assigned over the weekend). One boy told her he felt sorry for her kids (who were very young) because she was so heartless.

    The history teacher was useless! The mid-terms came and the thursday before the Tuesday mid-term in history, he gave them 175 vocab words (on Japan, Africa and Middle East) to look up and memorize! I was livid! My child worked all weekend and had a French and English mid-term monday which she barely studied for because of this last minute assignment by this unprepared teacher. An all nighter was pulled to study – this is high school! I sent a note to the history teacher, as did my child, to ask if he would give vocab words per week so that there wouldn’t be a build up at the end of the year like for the mid-term, and he never replied and did the same thing for the final! He would give dastardly tests and never give the right answers when you got something wrong. he’d say “look it up” and the answer was nowhere to be found. he should not be teaching at all.

    8th grade math algebra 1 was useless. REMEMBER, GRADES ARE TEACHER CONTINGENT. If you have a good teacher, you will learn and get a good grade. Bad teacher, and you are sunk. My child went from an A average up to 8th grade, did well on her ERB’s, and then got this hideous 8th grade math teacher who couldn’t teach a tsetse fly (but again the parents were too scared to complain; i wasn’t – we were given her as the extra help math tutor and i said if she can’t teach in class, how do you expect her to teach extra help?). Everyone failed. She would abuse them verbally calling them stupid and they came out of that class with C’s and D’s and low self-esteem feeling they could never do math again. They went on to geometry/trig in 9th and the teacher was amazing. he told them he never wanted to hear about how they couldn’t do math ever again…my child was so proud being able to do the math and got an A. Visually, trig was the best! He tried to convince the school that all this craziness about math was unnecessary and that they should tailor math to each child’s specific career goals – math for artists, historians or english majors is different than for someone wanting to go into engineering or science/math. Singapore Math is the best in the world and CA uses it along with the K-12 homeschool program and some public schools on the east coast. The school wouldn’t buy into it, and he left the school (good for him)….Next year is algebra 2 – if my child didn’t learn algebra 1 in 8th grade, how can it be learned 2 years later in 10th??? the school doesn’t care. Find a tutor (at your own expense; i guess the $30K plus we pay isn’t enough to get good teachers?) is the answer. If you do find a decent tutor who can teach, they can’t teach for how this school tests. I remember my child had a great tutor who explained algebra 1 and when it was test time, it just wasn’t applicable.

    Every kid is disgusted! You know who is able to do sports, theater, extracurriculars and comm svc? THE CHEATERS. at this school, they no longer give back mid term or finals but they do give back other tests and the kids who have older siblings are the cheaters. They use the same papers and change a few words. The school was notified about the cheating in 8th grade and on, but they turn a deaf ear. They don’t believe it and I warned they should change the tests and they say they do, meanwhile, kids are holding up the tests videochatting with them in their hands and telling kids on facebook they have all the answers….is the school blind? These kids get awards and they are liars/cheaters and go on to ivies and other good colleges. How sick is that? I told my child to write the personal essay for college on “my grades are real, that is why I didn’t have time for the super ec’s you are looking for..”

    I truly believe the reason so many of these high school kids act out by drinking, oral and anal sex (sorry but that is the reality folks), smoking pot despite all the freedom from chemical dependency and alcohol lectures, is because of the pressure. My child tells me stories about these kids that would make your hair stand up. The NY Times or Huff Post (can’t remember; it was a few weeks ago though) had an article about a private boys school in MD that made lists of all the girls the guys “got with” (the new expression) and whoever gets with the most girls before graduation wins…..It not only goes on there but also in all the private schools (don’t know about public). The boys “get with” the girls while they are all drunk at dances and teen centers (WHICH BY THE WAY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ALCOHOL AND DRUG FREE; AND WHICH BY THE WAY THE HEADS OF THE SCHOOLS ARE ON THE BD OF DIRECTORS!), Then their peers pressure them to drop the girls before they get serious. The girls come into school Monday morning and talk about how they “got with” this guy or that only to find out the guy with 2 or 3 of their peers! Do you know the diseases running around out there? chlamydia, crabs, herpes! The school’s policy is if you get drunk, you are out. Uh, not quite. If you are the child of a HIGH CONTRIBUTOR, you are NOT out. These kids get drunk, yet they get elected to “honor boards” so if their friends get drunk, they protect them by saying they shouldn’t be expelled! The school does not want to hear that the daughter of “mommy/daddy high contributor” gets drunk or cheats – they close their ears. It’s horrific the phoniness that goes on and politics. The parents pay big bucks to the schools right before the SATs and application process begins and voila, their $50,000 gift to Stanford paid off. I like the note on the harvard admissions website that says kids should be kids and not fall into the competition trap (sure, they should take their own advice perhaps for creating this competitiveness)….

    I am no longer sending my child to this school because I watched the deterioration from a secure, confident child to an insecure child with low self-esteem and feeling left out for being a good kid. I as a parent decided I could not take the busywork or BS anymore- the garbage they were teaching (or not teaching in some cases) – was worthless! They DON’T EVEN TEACH THE BASICS!

    They are worried about teaching AP this or AP that Stanford U math, forensics, micro and macro economics, Latin, Greek, Chinese, Arabic, etc. making classes so difficult that the kids who don’t cheat get C’s and D’s and those that do get A’s and move on to even harder subjects! But ask them who the inventors are and they go what? Ask them who invented the telephone or telegraph or sewing machine or cotton gin like we all had to learn and they go mum. Ask them about who takes over if the president is assassinated and in which order? Who overseas congress? What the capital of the states are? They are forgetting the things that kids need to know and giving them what they don’t want to know or will ever use!

    They don’t read the classics anymore and my child loves them. They force such brutal readings on them as “Things Falling Apart” (any parent would vomit reading that book;my child said it was one of the worst books ever required to read). They assign books on repetitive subjects like the holocaust and slavery – year after year – honestly, once is enough, the kids get it – they don’t expand to other cultures that were victimized as well when they came to America. Where are all the uplifting books? Isn’t the world crazy enough so that kids don’t need more depressing things to read about? There were kids in my child’s french class who thought the capital of France was Belgium; Sweden was in Germany and Vermont was next to Iowa- in 9th grade????? Does this not tell you that for $30,000 plus a year for private school you are doing something wrong and the curriculum needs to be revamped? They don’t teach about governing bodies either. We learned about NATO, ASEA, UNESCO, the UN, etc. in 7th grade when I grew up – still waiting here…tick tock.

    Kids are learning one thing – TO HATE AND DESPISE SCHOOL AND LEARNING. When you ask parents to speak up, they get angry and pretend THEIR kid can do it all….they think their kids are in bed by 9:30 when my child tells me they stay up till 1-2am on facebook but their parents don’t know – they talk about it in class everyday! It’s a release for them. I let the teachers know that midnight is our curfew. Tough if it is not done. We were told that in sophomore and junior years, it is not uncommon for kids to be in all AP classes and up till 3am. Not my kid…ain’t gonna do it anymore cause I am mad as hell and can’t take it!

    I yearn for the days of Grease and Happy Days when the kids had homework and AP was not a word widely used at all. Maybe there was 1 class offered in senior year if you went to a good school. Kids would hang out after school at candy stores and malt shops and go to dances, decent ones, not ones where the schools protect themselves and have police cars and ambulances lined up (to cover themselves legally). They have teachers lined up at the dances, but they stay outside so as not to invade the kids privacy! Meanwhile the kids are inside slobbering all over each other and plastered. They come to the dances drunk or with water bottles full of vodka! In our state they are even considering breathalyzer tests for dances! How horrific is this?

    They need to raise the driving and drinking age even more. It is bad enough there are drunk drivers, but drunk kids texting and taking on cell phones and performing sexual acts while driving?
    Kids getting arrested for underage drinking is rampant. A restaurant just lost its license, the owner arrested and facing serious jail time for serving 300 underage college students! Kids going to ER’s to get their stomach pumps and our school does not expel them, they punish them for “lying about it.” And the heads of these schools? Pompous backside kissers to the bd of trustees – cold, belligerent and demeaning to parents who don’t have the money to contribute to the annual funds (since the tuition is high enough). They bite the hands that feed them…and if you don’t give money, you can forget them respecting you with dignity or recognizing your child for anything. Teachers are too busy being entertained by parents who take them to dinner or on vacations with them to secure good spots on athletic teams or roles in plays (there is one girl that can’t play a sport or carry a tune but her mother pays a lot for dinners in nice restaurants). The girls who can play well get taken out of games, and she is put in; same with the voice classes…can’t sing to save her life. Who wants to be a part of such classlessness? And the headmistress, the very one who pretends she won’t stand for such behavior, ignores it, doesn’t believe it and doesn’t do a thing to change it. It’s a very sad situation.

    At this point, I feel like just taking my child and traveling the world and living life – a life my child has been deprived of and denied in private school! God bless all your honest kids out there working hard. At least you have your dignity. The cheaters will hopefully be found out in time and in their futures – once a cheater, always a cheater (it’s about morals and values and cheating others).

    July 5th, 2010 at 6:59 pm
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  26. FedUpMom says:

    Maples370 — you said a mouthful but I wanted to highlight this:

    Kids are learning one thing – TO HATE AND DESPISE SCHOOL AND LEARNING.


    I hope you’ll read my new post, “The Misery Index”, in which I propose a new index for rating schools, at the Coalition for Kid-Friendly Schools.


    July 5th, 2010 at 9:05 pm
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  27. maple370 says:


    I will check it out for sure! I have wondered about figuring out a way to survey high school kids to find out (if there any) what kids are actually enjoying high school and loving what they learn. If I found the school, I’d send my child there for sure! School should be more like Google headquarters – fun and creative – teaching kids to think not act like they are manufactured for college!

    July 8th, 2010 at 1:39 am
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  28. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you Kiddo. I cheat on homework for the simple fact that it is TOO MUCH. It’s preposterous! Now don’t get me wrong, I am really smart and ace all my tests; however, I have other things to do, such as my activities afterschool. A day in my school can be from 7a.m.- 5 p.m., I have my activities from 6-9. And, on top of all that, I have about 6 hours of Honors and AP homework to finish! It’s just… Overwhelming.
    Anywho, I am glad to know that someone out there feels the same way as I do about hw =)

    August 29th, 2010 at 11:04 am
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  29. FedUpMom says:

    I’m with you…too much homework for all kids anymore. When I was a kid, we still ‘cheated’ in high school–we would ‘collaborate’ so to speak on papers that were due. We’d sit in the halls during breaks and lunch and get the crap done! Then we’d go on home and have FAMILY time. My 6th grader is expected to read 180 minutes (for fun) practice is instrument a minimum of 120minutes and still complete other nightly homework, go to football practice, and still get up at 6:30 everyday to get to school on time. 1. He’s growing and he needs SLEEP and REST sometimes (just vegging in front of the video games for an hour.)
    2. What about the rest of his family seeing him???
    3. Are teachers just trying to get us parents to teach the kids since they don’t know what they’re doing??? I had a teacher tell me 2 years ago that my son was doing great in math. I told her it was too easy for him and she said ‘well, he does more.’ ‘More what?’ I asked. She said ‘Like, MORE.’ Oh, of course, silly me…YOU are a TEACHER afterall and all of what, 24 years old??? Of course, my mistake. My son moved to a new class.

    And, some of these homework items aren’t unreasonable by themselves, but combined with all the other stuff, when do our kids get to be kids? Social skills are more important now than ever–too much facebook & tweeting…

    September 18th, 2010 at 7:36 pm
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  30. kid says:

    my home work

    1 hour of verbs

    20 spelling words

    5 paragraphs


    all that is just for french and i have 5 calsses each day

    December 7th, 2010 at 6:41 pm
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  31. UK Trainee teacher says:

    I know exactly how this feels, I would get home with homeworks and courseworks (courseworks being assessed and counting towards my grade) every single night.

    I would always focus on the important things first (looking after my mother who was going through chemotherapy at the time), followed by doing all my courseworks, followed by my homeworks starting with those subjects that I struggled with and finally things like maths (which I’d usually started in the lesson anyway)… but by this point I couldn’t be bothered and it never got finished.

    Every Maths lesson I would turn up with my half finished homework and get a detention, I would get all the classwork completed faster than anybody in my class, get halfway through that lessons homework and the bell would go… and so the cycle would repeat

    For the record; I scored the highest in my year in my Maths GCSE and A Level, went on to study Maths at uni and am now a secondary school Maths teacher myself. I might look into reading Sara Bennetts book but would like to know if there are any more academic books suggesting revolutionising homework?

    I don’t disagree with homework in general but it needs changing. Homework is only effective when it is set in manageable work loads and, most importantly, it needs to offer something other than a continuation of homework. Maths teachers that set 20 questions as a continuation from homework demoralise me

    December 21st, 2010 at 7:22 am
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  32. PsychMom says:

    Sara’s book does reference research studies that have been done. You can also read Alfie Kohn’s book, The Homework Myth, which dissects the research in a more academic way.

    December 21st, 2010 at 10:31 am
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  33. wilson says:

    First of all I am never in my life going to know what year george washington became general in. What I do now in school teaches me nothing about what I will be when I’m older, I won’t need latin or history. The work teachers give is insane. I have work right after school and then three days I have basketball right after work. Kids have things to do after schhol. Giving kids a little homework is ok, but giving kids an hour assignment for each subject is crazy. We are almost forced to cheat to stay on top of things

    January 25th, 2011 at 12:54 am
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  34. Alex says:

    Im in 6th grade and have at least six hours of homework a night. After I get home and eat dinner at five I finish my homework at arround 11 with about 1 break to get a glass of water.

    September 10th, 2011 at 2:59 pm
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  35. HomeworkBlues says:

    Regarding Alex’s comment above, I am here to tell you he is not exaggerating. That is exactly the scenario my daughter faced every afternoon in 6th grade.

    Of course, I let her walk around. I forced her to go to bed, homework done or not. She’s a child, not a slave.

    Teachers, when children are under that much strain, it’s time to listen. It really is.

    September 13th, 2011 at 3:26 pm
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  36. Anonymous says:

    if your IQ was over 180 you would be among the 10 smartest people on the planet just fyi, so your point isn’t bad, but oyu come off as really really arrogant.

    October 12th, 2011 at 8:22 pm
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  37. Anonymous says:

    I hate homework espashele when it is on a long weekend

    November 17th, 2011 at 3:09 pm
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  38. Crazy_Cuz_Of_H/W says:

    This may seem awkard but i am a high school school student and freshman year i get piled with a shit lowed of homework. the latest i have been up was till 3 in the morning and got only 3 hours of sleep because i have to wake up aty 6 to get ready and get out of the door again to go back to getting torchered by scool.but that isnt the first time there have been numerous times that i have been up late doing homework untill late like today

    January 25th, 2012 at 9:43 pm
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  39. Anonymous says:

    Right… I don’t think decrying how much you hate homework/how overburdened you feel is going to sound very legitimate if your post is simply saturated with spelling errors…
    Clearly the amount of homework is not the problem here. There will always be kids who try to shirk their responsibilities, and that’s where the damage to their academic careers comes from.
    They would still be cheaters if the workload was more “appropriate”.

    March 2nd, 2012 at 11:56 am
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  40. Anonymous says:

    And how the heck is everyone so cavalier about this rampant cheating?!
    “Yeah… I was a cheater too…” Cheating is not unavoidable. You make the conscious decision to take the easy route.
    And let me make one thing very clear… I grew up outside North America, the workload that people are griping about here is nothing compared to how much work we do, starting from a very young age. So much so, that when I arrived in Canada I was PROMPTLY skipped ahead a grade. The only reason I was not skipped ahead two was due to my parents worrying about its social strain.
    All that, and I never cheated, never needed to complain, and never felt like I “missed out on my childhood”.

    March 2nd, 2012 at 12:04 pm
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  41. Anonymous says:

    Wow, super sorry! I just re-read my posts and wanted to apologize if it seems a bit aggressive! I got a little caught up.
    I stand behind what I said, just in a less snarky way!

    March 2nd, 2012 at 12:12 pm
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  42. arganmor says:

    Multilingual Virtual Assistant & Trade Manager
    English, French & Arabic

    April 21st, 2012 at 5:01 pm
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  43. jayant says:

    It’s funny. Looking at all the arrogance in the first paragraph, I knew the rest would be BS. First of all, taking all these ap classes, you very well knew you would have a lot oh homework. Simple. As. That.

    September 17th, 2013 at 1:17 am
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  44. Julia says:

    You EXACTLY described my situation minus the amount of cheating. I try on homework but if I dont get it and i check, so i wont get pentalized. I missed out on family events who live out of state/country, divorced parents, money problems, depression, bullied for my appearance, OCD, and ADHD.

    Waking at 5 beause of my 6 bus time gives me like 7- hours of sleep when i am supposed to get 10. Many times I dont have the time to to take a shower, barely eat, take a break, i am ripping off my arms.

    Homework 12 hours each weekend day, i dont even get a break then.
    No fun at all.

    As far as you and I, I don’t know what I can do, and do not tell me please what I do is wrong or pity me or give me a rant, it is doing nothing.

    Even after these 6 hours, I still dont finish a third of it and my grades arent what i like.

    My school is the 2nd worst in my county and is VERY cliquey.

    You have matched, I dont know what kids are complaining about a hour of homework

    been like this since 5th grade

    December 5th, 2014 at 9:40 pm
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  45. Julia says:

    I also many times have to cancel sports, recommended school events, and ecs because.

    December 5th, 2014 at 9:46 pm
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  46. a says:

    This is legit like my high school experience with the AP classes and all. I chose to just stay up all night and well into the morning rather than cheat, then I ended up depressed, irritable, and with an irregular sleeping pattern. I would start my homework around 6:30PM and keep working until 4 to 5:30AM in the morning, only to have to get back up at 8:30AM two hours later to make it to school on time (but I still ended up at school late). I was about to fall asleep in my car while driving to school because I was so tired. Now I am realizing that the GPA, class rank, etc…is NOT WORTH MY TIME. Parents don’t care and teachers act guilty because they know how ridiculous the work load is, yet they refuse to change. It makes me sick. Education should be more than this.

    March 1st, 2015 at 6:13 pm
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  47. Bre says:

    I just finished my first year of highschool at Brooklyn Tech and it was torture. I had so much homework it was unbelieveable. I would get four hours from AP world alone, then an hour from ELA, a half an hour from Math. and five minutes from bio (He gave us homework quizes not based on the hw so what was the point?).
    AP World would require us to do notes for about eight pages from the text book (with barely any pictures mind you) and then make connections to other points in history or make deductions. We had to hand write it, and since these notes were graded strictly, by the end of the assignment you would have practically rewritten they entirety of the pages you read and wrote connections for everything you could.
    Then English would take an hour or more since we had a double period and that justified him to give us double the homework. Now my ELA teacher was actually very good, he make Shakespeare interesting. A downside was that he was very strict with teaching and you would be lucky to get above an 85.
    Math was decent with the exception of a homework website that had the assignments on it. They were online quizzes where if you got a question wrong you would have to do two more to make up for it. Sufficient to say I spent hours on it if I didn’t give up first.
    Bio would give simple textbook questions for hw but then give us hw quizzes not based on the hw we did. He would also give us quizzes and tests with topics he never got to. Teacher: “Oh- we didn’t have time to get to that topic…” me: -_- “But it was on the test.”
    Then we had hw and tests for gym… GYM! Why do I need to know the rules of basketball or the hometeam of the Barclay center?! I personally find sports dominating our society and overlooking the actual smarts.
    Spanish II was okay I guess, as well as a foreign language can go…
    DDP is a special thing in my school, which is the use of engineering drawing techniques and a digital design program to complete assignments. I excelled in it however I was practically was the teacher. I had to go around and help all the students with their projects neglecting my own. I had to do mine at home most of the time. Good thing I enjoyed the class or else I would have been stressed even more than I was. (Oh and I almost forget that the program we used was prone to crashes and had no autosave… -_-)
    So yeah! With 5-6+ hours of hw each night and my mother hounding me to finish at least 11 freshman year sucked. Tests were ludicrous and I had no social life. I was getting sick on weekends due to the stress and lack of sleep. We need a better way to do this stuff. Why do we need to remember dates in Social Studies? Why can’t we just know the events. Allthat matters is the events anyway, that’s how we learn from past mistakes/achievements anyway. And gym does not need hw or tests. Why should my AP World hw be classes of their own? They would be on totally new topics and the next day’s class would continue from the hw! *sigh* If I learned anything this year I forgot it after the finals, or repressed it due to the memories of having zero freetime and the pressure of keeping up high grades. Yes I know I am in an advanced school, and I do everything I am asked! I just wish they realized they are torturing us. I feel as if the creativity was sucked dry by the stress, thankfully summer is returning it to me.
    That was my first year of highschool, lord help me for the next three. ; _ ;

    July 15th, 2015 at 12:56 am
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  48. Mido says:

    I think that no homework is a good idea besacue students will have less stress and more time to think about future etc.. I think that there should be grades so we can improve our weakness. If we learn about what we want to learn, then I think that it will encourage us to study more about the topic and enjoy it at the same time.I would want to learn about cooking (especially baking), theater (acting, singing etc.), archeology and mystery things , designing furniture, maybe law, dancing, and so many other things that I can’t think of now.

    August 26th, 2015 at 4:27 am
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    April 19th, 2016 at 11:05 am
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  50. Koolguy787 says:

    Schools crappy. Fite the powa. Mu Mun

    September 2nd, 2016 at 2:10 pm
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  51. Rheanna Johnston says:

    Why do I have to do all this school work when I have chores to do at home or friends to bond with or family to take care of I think homework is just a waste of time I know the teachers are trying to help us learn but I learn almost everything from books and parents and the internet that I do in every class even from movies.

    October 11th, 2016 at 5:08 pm
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