We’ve all heard complaints from students about why we as teachers can’t simply dish out grades. That would serve as our contribution to their lives and future success.
The perception is that it wouldn’t cost us anything. Some even go as far as to ask their teachers whether they could pay them to bump up their grades.
A simple trade agreement where the teacher gets a few bucks in exchange for giving a student a passing grade seems harmless enough. But what’s the reality, and can students actually bribe their teachers?
Bribery is an illegal and unethical activity that can result in the teacher losing their job and teaching license. While the teacher may bear the brunt of the punishment for bribery, the student may also be penalized or even expelled from the school.
Why Students May Want To Bribe Teachers
So why would a student want to bribe their teacher?
The most obvious reason why someone would want to bribe their teacher is to get a better grade.
Unfortunately, parents are sometimes guilty of this as they may offer money and other forms of incentives to teachers to ensure that their children get better grades in the teacher’s class.
Sometimes students and even parents believe that bribing a teacher may increase their chances of landing a scholarship, academic awards, and other forms of academic recognition.
Pressure To Succeed
Intense pressure from parents, family, friends, and society, in general, can result in a student or their parents resorting to bribery.
Their hope is to increase the student’s chances of succeeding academically or meeting these expectations.
Lack Of Confidence
Students who lack confidence in their academic abilities might approach their teacher in hopes of leveraging their parents’ influence to compensate for any deficiency.
They may also offer monetary or other forms of compensation to the teacher in their attempt to get them to compensate for any potential underperformance.
Desire For Unfair Advantage
It’s no secret that some students will always leverage any opportunity to gain an advantage over their peers. These students could even resort to bribing their teacher to achieve this.
Consequences Of Bribery On Education
Let’s look at some of the effects of bribery on education. This includes effects on schools, students, and teachers.
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Reduces Quality Of Education
Schools serve as training grounds to prepare the youth for the job market and students who successfully acquire the relevant skills and training are given certificates that signify these achievements.
Unfortunately, recruiters and other employers would be unable to determine employees’ readiness for their respective roles if they cheated through their education by bribing their way through.
This can result in accidents that could easily be avoided. After all, no one would want a doctor who bribed their way through school to operate on your sick child.
So, while students may not appreciate the strictness of their teachers, this behavior is necessary for the sake of the students and the general public.
Bribery creates an unfair advantage for students capable of funding this despicable act. This, unfortunately, puts the rest of the student body at a disadvantage and undermines the merit-based education system.
Erodes Trust In Institutions
Bribery if unchecked would undermine the trust students, parents, and society, in general, have in the education system. The already existing perception that people can succeed through education becomes null.
This is because bribery creates a perception that success even in education depends on your connections and money as opposed to being merit-based.
Honest students will begin resorting to bribery as well. After all, why should they put in the effort when someone else who didn’t, still ended up succeeding?
There’s no incentive to work hard if their efforts aren’t being recognized. This behavior would end up discouraging more students unless measures are taken to address the root cause.
Damages Reputation Of Schools
No one wants their children to go to a school, knowing full well that they won’t be receiving the best training. Students wouldn’t even want to go to such schools and recruiters would refrain from hiring students from such schools.
Eventually, this can result in a continuous decrease in the number of enrolled students in the school.
Undermines Teachers Authority
Teachers who take bribes would lose control over students. They would lose the respect of their students who feel they can easily manipulate their teachers.
Unfortunately, this behavior can be infectious as other students will start imitating similar disrespectful behavior.
Bribery is unethical and the last place society wants to associate with corruption is school. These are places that serve as training grounds for the youth.
Teachers who take bribes would essentially be training students to do the same. Unfortunately, this may incentivize students to engage in corrupt activities in other areas of their lives.
Direct Consequences For Teachers
Teachers who engage in bribery stand to lose the most compared to their students. Consequences could include:
Bribery is considered illegal in some states and the teacher could be convicted for receiving bribes, falsifying records, and official misconduct.
Depending on how it goes, they could end up paying a fine or facing some jail time. They may also be held liable for any damages that resulted from their actions.
Bribery is grounds for dismissal by the educational institution. Schools would try their best to penalize this action to avoid any negative press.
That said, consequences may depend on the severity of their actions as they may be suspended or demoted in some cases.
Most teachers would definitely want to avoid this. In this age of social media, you may end up unable to work in any educational institution in the country.
This won’t only follow them in the education profession as they would be seen as unethical and untrustworthy wherever they go.
Loss Of Credibility
Teachers who take bribes would lose the trust and respect of their colleagues, students, parents, and the community in general.
Loss Of License
It better be worth it because you’d be risking your reputation and teaching license. If found guilty of bribery, the teacher may end up losing their teaching license depending on the severity of the offense.
Direct Consequences For Students
While teachers have a lot to lose for taking bribes, students won’t get off easy. Consequences for students could include:
Depending on what the student may have bribed the teacher on, their assignments and other academic deliverables could be canceled. They could even be forced to repeat the class.
In extreme cases, the student could be dismissed from the school and the incident could be added to their academic records. This would make it challenging for them to acquire financial aid and scholarships.
Depending on the age of the student and other factors, the school could press charges if they want to. This is especially true when the student isn’t a minor.
Loss Of Credibility
Similar to the teacher, the student would also lose the trust and respect of their peers and teachers. Teachers would scrutinize any submissions from the student to ensure there were no attempts at cheating.
How Can You Get Your Teacher To Take A Bribe
So, if you still want to risk it despite the consequences, there may be a way to get your teacher to take a bribe. That said, you should keep in mind that it’s going to cost you.
Teachers understand the consequence and would refrain from this action. But if you seriously want to bribe your teacher, then you should prepare enough money for them to live a comfortable life.
For the rest of their life, I mean. Add their family to the budget, while you’re at it. Not only will they be risking their reputation, but they would also be risking their source of income.
If you can sort out the income part, I’m sure some of us would be willing to accept the damage to our reputation so long as we’re living the life (boats, beaches, and more). Overall, I would advise against attempting to bribe your teacher for everyone’s sake.