You people find this surprising? How many of you didn't lie to your parents or cheat on a test once in your life. I mean the going to school drunk and getting a gun so easily might be something new, but the rest of the stuff has been pretty common for years.
Yes, emulating what they see in politics. That is a good point. Except...it's not. Lying and cheating in politics have been going together since people first lived together - it's not a Clintonian innovation despite what some conservatives minds like to think.
Furthermore, people always like to bemoan the present and nostalgize the past into a creamy past of delectable good tastes, strong morals and values, better, happier, safer et cetera. It's silly. 403, while you many not have cheated, I am 20 years old and I have never cheated either. But I am sure there are similar percentage's of our generational peers who did.
I've cheated on tests before! Every once in a while will put a formula or two in my calculator before a test.... I've become disillusioned with school you see, I think its so much more about jumping through some hoops with very little educational merit instead of higher learning. I don't feel any guilt or remorse about cheating because of this. My college has also screwed me out of my scholarship too and that bitterness doesn't hurt either
I actually did a small research project on cheating when I was in high school. Had my mom's Spanish classes fill out small surveys about whether or not they had cheated on a test. About 60%, IIRC, said that they had and would do it again. Wasn't too surprising to me at the time.
Look at their role models and challenges: Clinton, the yuppie generation, Hole (in the ozone, too), modern television, vermacelli-thin supermodels, buy.com taking over the nike tour, the sears-roebuck catalog greatly shrinking, Teacher's Unions, too many pizza joints, the war on drugs, popularity of SUVs, Discovery.com posting Lame Crap Like This, the Hansons, and the list goes on.
Nevertheless, teens are repsonsible for their own self-creation and need to get in front of the freakin' ball once in a while.