My Dog Ate My Homework and Other Lame Excuses

Jack Lemkuil, Staff Writer

According to the British online newspaper The Telegraph, the average teacher hears approximately 4 excuses each day from students explaining why they did not do their homework.

An excuse can be defined as a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense. All of us make them even if we don’t realize we do. The most popular excuse is why homework wasn’t completed, according to most teachers.

Even at Notre Dame Academy, teachers hear many excuses each and every day from students. The most popular excuse teachers hear of why students did not do their homework is because of technology failure. Some popular excuses include, “My printer broke” or “My Internet was down” or  “My computer crashed and it did not save. Yet, not all excuses are like these ones and some become a lot more elaborate.

Miss Kim Simon, a science teacher at NDA, once received an excuse not like the others. She explained, “I had a student once tell me that they couldn’t present their powerpoint because they accidently knocked their computer out their window.”

Sometimes students are so desperate to get out of situations, they just start saying random things to get off the hook without thinking about what they say.

The next most popular excuse for a student not doing his or her homework is injury or the death of a relative or someone close. Yet, lying about the death of a loved one is very serious and should not happen. Mrs. Katie Stanczak, theology teacher at NDA, actually caught one of her students lying about a loved one’s death. She said, “I had a student tell me that their dog died so they could not present. I called their house to make sure the student was all right because he seemed really sad about it in class. The mom laughed and told me that it was the anniversary of the dog’s death. The dog died a year ago.”

Many students admit that although they are not telling an outright lie, they stretch the truth to their teachers. Giovanna Canella, a junior at NDA, explains, “My cousin told her teacher that her cousin was born the night before so she could not do her homework. Yet, her cousin was actually born 3 months earlier.”

Other students really do tell their teachers the truth about why they did not complete their homework, but the truth sounds like a lie. Junior Steven Strutt explained, “My dog actually ate my homework one time.” Even though it sounds impossible, Strutt claims that it actually happened.

Instead of lying to a teacher about homework, students should just be upfront with them. If the student is honest, the teacher will respect their honesty and give them a less harsh punishment.

Sam Lucero, sophomore at NDA, honestly told her teacher one time, “I gave it to someone else to copy it, but they have never given it back.” Sam’s teacher respected her honesty and gave a fairer punishment.

In the end, honesty is still the best policy. Lying to a teacher not only breaks the honor code at school, it is not worth jeopardizing your own values. So just get your homework done and you won’t need an excuse anyway.