George Lucas Educational Foundation
Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)

By the Numbers: Teen Ethics

An alarming number of teens surveyed condone violence.

March 20, 2008

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Credit: XPLANE

Thirty-eight percent of teens believe it is sometimes necessary to cheat, plagiarize, lie, or even behave violently in order to succeed, according to a survey by Junior Achievement and Deloitte.

Interestingly, the majority (71 percent) of the 725 teens surveyed say they feel fully prepared to make ethical decisions when they enter the workforce.

In a particularly alarming finding, givenrecent cases of school violence, nearly one-quarter of all teens surveyedthink violence toward another isacceptable on some level.Of those 23 percentwho think so, the justificationsfor violence include27 percent for settling an argument and 20 percent for revenge.

Surveyco-organizer Junior Achievement has begun a newprogram calledExcellenceThrough Ethicsthat provideshands-on classroomactivities and real-lifeapplications designedto foster ethicaldecision makingas studentsprepare to enterthe workforce.

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  • 9-12 High School

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