Cheating occurs in all walks of life and people pay it no mind, but when it happens at a prestigious public school? Well, that's a horse of a different color! Just look at the "crown jewel" of the New York City public school system, Stuyvesant, which is still dealing with the fallout from an idiotic cheating ring uncovered there last month. Heavens, can you believe that kids under a tremendous amount of academic pressure might resort to cheating?!? Still, the amount that seems to be going on under Principal Stanley Teitel's nose is pretty depressing.

Last week we learned from the father of Najmul Ahsan, the junior expelled for cheating on the State-wide Regents exam, that there was "a reason he did this." Something about him maybe having cancer and recently getting mugged on the subway. But the thing is, Ahsan was only one part of the ring—approximately 100 students at Stuyvesant received text messages with answers to last month’s Regents exams and are losing their social privileges next year. And the fact that those 100 kids exist is more than enough for the Daily News (and us) to dive back into the issue one more time before the holiday.

Though cheating exists everywhere (really, it does) the scale here is what is so noteworthy. Especially considering how incredibly easy Regents exams are! Cheating really is rampant there—by students own admission. Two years ago the school's paper, The Spectator, actually did a survey of students to find out how prevalent the practice is there, and, well, the answers shouldn't really shock you if you've made it this far down the page. Of more than 2,000 students who responded to the 13-question survey:

For each grade, more than 72 percent of students had copied homework at least once, with more than 28 percent copying at least weekly. In fact, more than half of the students who took the survey (over a third of the entire school population) admitted to copying homework as frequently as once a month or more. The number of students who have used outside sources on homework was similarly high, and 79 percent of all students, and about 90 percent of seniors, admitted to learning about questions before tests at least once a year.

The strikingly high percentages in these areas raise important questions regarding what Stuyvesant students consider cheating. The sizable gap between the 56 percent of students who copy homework at least once a month and the 20 percent who copy answers on at least some tests confirms that there is an important moral distinction being made by students regarding different forms of academic dishonesty.

So, yeah. Cheating is common at Stuy. But as one Brooklyn principal told the News, it happens everywhere: "Kids are so desperate, they make the wrong decision." Still, we can attest, students at Stuy have been making the wrong decisions for a very long time. So, now the conversation that needs to be had is 'why?' Because it can't just be about "high pressure" environment. Our guess? Kids are cheating because they realized that (until last month) they could get away with it—honestly that is the only reason we can possibly come up with for anyone to cheat on the Regents.