In every school there are students who cheat. Students who take advantage of careless teacher. Indeed, three out of four high school students admitted to serious cheating on tests-- in a recent survey of about 4,500 students by Rutgers University professor Donald McCabe (Jay Mathews, TheWashingtonPost(WP CompanyLLC), 2001). On a student's first offense, it should not be taken very harshly. Although, after the first offense, they should flunk the class or be expelled.
Cheating happens because of fear of failing, fear of being average, and fear of not being able to participate in sports or extracurricular activities. Cheating at school happens often and at particically all grade levels. Harsher punishments should not be issued. It should should vary prior to the age or grade of the child. Students who cheats will or at least should- feel an immediate response from their parents and the school (school law, education-law.lawyers.com, 2005). Harsher treatments does not teach the student better morals. Although it does ruin their self esteem and causes the student to think even more less than himself.
I do not think students should have harsher treatments. The school system can not punish the whole nation because of cheating. Everyone has cheated before, it's just that they have not been caught yet. I think people can learn from getting a zero on the assignment or a test. If cheating continues, then yes, harsher punishments should be in place.