Cheating should have a harsher punishment than just a smack and don't do it again. It is never fair to the student who did manage to study and make time for school unlike the cheater. Expulsion may be a little harsh but if you get caught cheating then your degree cannot be credible because you cheated to "earn" it. Cheating should end a career, if you cheated to get where you are you don't deserve it (debates.org). When you cheat you cheat yourself out of your own education.
Cheating shouldn't be punished, when a student cheats they will likely not review their answers as it is unlikely they will have to test over the exact material again. The argument that cheating impacts a students self esteem is invalid as there is little to no scientific research to back it up (wired.com). It is argued that a students view on cheating is copying work or asking for help on a question on an exam, in a workplace this would be named networking or cooperative work which would be rewarded not argued as cheating. When we have a problem we search for answers, we ask others if they have experienced the same thing we ask others for help, search the web it doesn't matter the source we just want answers, like cheating.
As I do believe cheating is a problem I don't believe it needs harsher punishments. Students don't want to be at school, while some students will work for their grades others will take the easy way and try and cheat. I can see that schools don't want students to think it's ok to take credit from others work but it doesn't need a harsh punishment. When you are taking a test it is prohibited to copy another students work, refer to a book, or even browse the web in search for the answer, yet outside of schools where this is prohibited in workplace environments these are skills you want workers to have, to be able to search the web effectively or referring to books as long as the answer is reliable and truthful.