Pidyon Kaparot Now

Ethical Dilemma of Bumping Up Grades

Hello, my name is Hana. In Judiacs we are learning about ethical dillemas. I wrote an ethical dillema and I was wondering what the answer is to this according to Jewish law. Also, if you could give me the sources you used that would be great! Thanks

You have a student who is from a poor family. The student is an amazing basketball player. In order to be eligible for university scholarships the student must have a “B” average. However, the student is unable to maintain this average due to basketball and working commitments so he can make money for his family. Should the teacher bump up his grade so he is able to attend university? Or does the teacher do nothing and then the student is unable to attend university?

Answer:

Leaning about and thinking of halachic dilemmas is a fascinating project, and I hope you gain much from it.

Concerning the position of halachah (Jewish Law) on the question you mention, it appears that the teacher should not raise the grade to allow the student to gain a scholarship.

Doing so will involve a problem of geneivat daat – misrepresentation (which the Talmud in Chullin 94a strictly prohibits). The student is being presented as a grade B student, which allows him to earn a scholarship, whereas in fact he is only a grade C student. The issue is even more stringent than usual because of the financial ramification of receiving the scholarship.

The teacher is also obligated by his contract with his school to do his work faithfully, and bumping up a grade artificially is something he doesn’t have the right to do. If the student will be a failure, the university might look badly at the school for sending an unworthy student, and the teacher must be wary of this.

Finally, it might not be good for the student himself, who won’t be able to live up to expectations.

Still, it remains an interesting dilemma.

Best wishes.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *