Letter to the editor

Long ago as a student in speech class, I began my first speech, which was about the Holocaust, by telling a Polish joke.

When my fellow students stopped laughing, I then went on to explain how acceptance of such seemingly harmless material makes it that much easier for us to accept or even commit bigger and bigger wrongs against our fellow human beings.

Following that same reasoning, I’d like to request that the Herald editors revise the directions for how to write “Letters to the Editor.”

Sadly, according to U.S. News and World Report, “In a recent survey conducted by Who’s Who Among American High School Students, 80 percent of high-achieving high schoolers admitted to having cheated at least once; half said they did not believe cheating was necessarily wrong.”

In the current directions, the wink-wink, nod-nod, grin-grin at students turning in plagiarized material to professors would seem to me to encourage such corruption. Do I need to add the “commit bigger and bigger wrongs” of how the moral fiber of our society also falls apart when cheating college students go on to become the leaders of our country?

Since deliberate acts of dishonesty lead to failure on an assignment, failure from the class and possible expulsion from the university under a cloud of embarrassment, you may want to ask a couple of my former students how funny plagiarism really is.

Paul M. Bush

Assistant Professor

Department of English