At a very young age, the students are exposed to adult problems like facing the necessity of putting food on the table and taking care of their younger siblings. They carry the burdens of problems supposedly faced by their parents; however, due to the fact that oftentimes a father is in jail or a mother is struggling with drug addiction, the children are oftentimes faced with the very real demand that they begin to find alternative ways to earn money of their own so that they can help supplement the meager earnings of their family. With such a kind of life, the students are exposed to hardships that pressure them to cheat in order to survive in an increasingly challenging educational environment. Furthermore, in order to examine and understand the factors that oftentimes leads students to cheat in the first place.
By way of perception, educators and police often consider these youths to be a mere extension of their parents; i.e. drug dealers and cheaters who are threats to the peace and order of the traditional community. They know they are selling drugs and they are watched by the requisite authorities in similar ways as are adults. Sometimes, they are also made as assets when the opportunity arises. They know they are tough so that even if they are young, they play rough with them. The children’s parents look up to them to take responsibility in their families. For instance, Michael is expected to provide for the family’s needs and in the eighth episode of season 4, he even gives his mother money instead of the mother giving him what he needs (The Wire Season 8 Episode 4 [34:37]). The familial and environmental backgrounds of the children demand them to become tough as they are and lost interest in schoolwork. However, to the teachers, the children are still children and human beings. Although most of them are failing in their classes, teachers like Prezbo do their best to seek to continue to impart knowledge to the children in their classrooms.