Blimey. The scandal in America regarding desperate parents bribing coaches and cheating on students’ entrance exams has reached a new low. Some parents have apparently paid $500,000 to a “university admissions consultant” who can then get their children into the universities of choice such as Yale and Stamford, through the back door. These high end individuals include a number of prominent actors, including Felicity Huffman, an actor from Desperate Housewives who has just been arrested and bailed.

It is of course outrageous that the rich are allowed to throw money at the problem and buy their “underachieving” children a way into an elite education, but I feel a little bit sorry for them now because apparently the scheme was kept secret from their children. Imagine how angry and humiliated their children will now be feeling with their own parents. Not only does it mean that genuinely talented students have been rejected in their place, but how will they feel about the cheating element? They did it by securing medical wavers that gave them more time for either doing their entrance exams elsewhere that were then marked by bribed examiners or actually sat by other people. Or non athletic children got offered athletic scholarships via a very expensive “charitable donation.” WTF?

I imagine the scam is relatively endemic and has been going on for years and just shows the level of deceit parents are prepared to sink to in order to ensure their children get the best possible start in life. Did they not think through what would happen if they got caught out? It’s going to have the totally opposite effect. Parents are meant to teach their children that cheating is an unacceptable way to move through life and now how are they going to explain their behaviour to their mortified children. Quite apart from the element of putting their children into an environment whereby they don’t necessarily thrive because it’s too academic for them. All very bad behaviour indeed.

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