January 2003
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Stealing shows lack of consideration
By Jessi M., Age 16, Mississauga, ON

Stealing. An eight-letter word that can cause a bunch of guilt, despair, and trouble. Not only does it cause trouble for the person whose property has been stolen, but it also causes trouble for other students and faculty. This is a huge problem in most schools across Canada. Let's examine a typical scenario.

The student opens his or her locker or backpack and discovers his notes, binder, or textbook is missing. Most likely, they will have to go copy another student's notes and then have each one of their teachers perform textbook checks during classes. If the notes are not found, then the student will have to spend extra time studying and learning the new notes previously borrowed from a classmate.

Unfortunately, the culprit rarely seems to get caught, and the student often ends up without the notes or textbook for the remainder of the year. Almost every student seems to have been in a situation similar to this before, and numerous teachers and students have collaborated to decide what action can be taken to prevent further occurrences.

In the past, we have tried positive peer pressure, which always seems to fail, because who wants to stand up to their best friend? Although you may know in your gut what the right thing is, it becomes much more difficult when you are lecturing your best friend on moral values. For many, it is hard enough being a teenager and doing the right thing yourself. To tell another what the right thing to do is a task that most high-school teens aren't self-confident enough to do.

Why do other students steal others' property? Many others have asked this question before me, and the reason I think students steal is to make up for their own laziness and incompetence. Somehow, they think that if they failed to take notes in history because they decided to take a nap, stealing another's notes will make up for it. But I know, from my personal experiences, that other people's notes are never as helpful as your own.

As everyone knows, exams are coming up soon, and the time crunch for studying will begin. If you have found your notes lack important information or you are missing a textbook, please do not take something that isn't yours for your own self-benefit. It doesn't even come close to making up for your own laziness and lack of responsibility.

Stealing is just the easy way out. If you have not been responsible enough in the past to take your own notes or keep track of your textbook, at least don't ruin the last ounce of responsibility left. If you just ask the person first, I think you will find most people will lend you their notes so you can copy them. It isn't worth risking your own self-worth and others' hard work and dedication just so you can look at pieces of paper that probably won't make much sense to you.


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