In a survey released by the Josephson Institute of Ethics on the values and ethical actions of more than 40,000 high school students, the gap between what students believe and their actions does not bode well for future generations.

Survey highlights: While 89 percent of students believe that being a good person is more important than being rich, almost one in three boys and one in four girls admitted stealing from a store within the past year. Moreover, 21 percent admitted they stole something from a parent or other relative, and 18 percent admitted stealing from a friend.

On lying, more than two in five said they sometimes lie to save money (48 percent of males and 35 percent of females). While 92 percent of students believe their parents want them to do the right thing, more than eight in ten confessed they lied to a parent about something significant.

Rampant cheating in school continues. A majority of students (59 percent) admitted cheating on a test during the last year, with 34 percent doing it more than two times. One in three admitted they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment.

Michael Josephson, president of the Institute and a national leader in ethics training, said the results of this survey, conducted in 2010, are slightly better than those of the 2008 survey.

Source: Josephson Institute
http://charactercounts.org/programs/reportcard/2010/installment02_report-card_honesty-integrity.html