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Dateline NBC

Smile Kids! Your Parents Set

You Up in Cheating Investigation

4/30/2012 7:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF


Dateline NBC
pulled a fast one in a hidden camera investigation last night -- but instead of targeting pedophiles, they took down middle schoolers cheating on a phys ed. test ... and the kids' parents were in on the sting.

Here's the premise: the kids were told they have to complete an obstacle course to audition for an "ultimate challenge" TV show. Unknown to the kids, Dateline is secretly recording the test ... and they've planted an actress who encourages the kids to cheat by inflating their scores. Also, their parents are sitting in a nearby room watching the whole thing go down.

The first time through the course the kids try to stop the actress from lying ... and insist on posting their real results. However, the second time, some of them give in and agree to fudge the numbers.

Natalie Morales then walks out -- playing the Chris Hansen role -- and tells the kids they've been set up to see if they cheat. The shocked looks on their faces are priceless ... especially when they hear their parents were in on it.

Dateline said the report was intended to show how peer pressure affects kids. But here's the thing -- shame on NBC and the parents for setting up the kids on national tv to teach 'em the lesson.

What happened to talking to your kids at home?


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Actually, the shame should be on everybody. 1. NBC used an attractive teenage girl to promote the cheating. They wouldn't have gotten the results they wanted if an unattractive fat boy was promoting the cheating. They only reaffirmed that more attractive people can make their less principled peers do whatever they want. 2. The parents obviously need to be better parents. Not because the children fudged the scores per se, but for the moral values the parents instill in their children. 3. The children obviously overvalue reality TV with all that moneygrubbing famewhore crap associated with it.

905 days ago


Don't be surprised if the kids runaway from home. Very embarassing for the kids. Everyone cheats, duh. The most heinous thing was that all the kids were white. You don't expose white america like that.

905 days ago


Is this the same TMZ that recently showed Octomom's kids taking a dump on the patio? I think that is much more embarrassing than what NBC did. TMZ should be ashamed for acting all "moral" all of a sudden.

905 days ago


if kids really listened at home, there would be no story

905 days ago


It would have been much more interesting to see the lengths to which parents would have been willing to cheat to get their kids on TV. In my experience, the parents are usually much worse about that than the kids.

905 days ago


Okay, I have a word for this, its one I am very familiar with, it is "ENTRAPMENT", therefore all the results in this "uncontrolled" experiment are null and void. This is my Hypothesis,(educated guess,I am not a lawyer like Harvey), but have been in a courtroom a few times, and that word needs to be spread to all people as some people are in Jail because they never thought of "ENTRAPMENT" Thanks, keep up the good work,Oh and do I just post my Resume here? or do I have to drop it off ? I am in Canada.

905 days ago


I agree this was wrong, but is anyone really surprised? The progression should be expected. Too many parents now believe public humiliation is good discipline. Think about it we have kids who have had to stand on street corners wearing signs describing what they did wrong. Last week a parent posted a picture of her daughter on face book with a red "x" over her mouth calling her a liar and delineating her crimes against her mother which basically consisted of her being mouthy and dramatic...pretty much expected of a middle-school aged child. Should these kids be punished, sure but not humiliated. To the parents involved...when your children become even more out of control...don't be surprised you earned it!!

905 days ago


It is neither the parent's or NBC. Have you seen any of the reports? You talk and talk to your kids but a true test will show you what they have learned. Did you not see the report on getting in a car with someone who was driving after drinking? These are important stories. What is wrong with you?

905 days ago


"shame on NBC and the parents for setting up the kids on national tv to teach 'em the lesson." -- Well isn't this calling the kettle black. LOL. Moral lessons from TMZ. Comon now.

905 days ago


I don't see why this is all that bad on NBC. They're showing parents and viewers how peer pressure can make people do some pretty stupid things.
I'm sure a lot of those parents are perfectly fine parents and those kids are great, but come on, I'm sure most of us have done some pretty dumb things b/c of friends.

905 days ago

Maximilian Habsburger    

Ugh... neither...

Check out my acting debut and vote for your favorite trailer to become a music video for FIFA Street. It's YOUR pick!

905 days ago


But they got to be on TV!
What a F'd up country.

905 days ago


I’ll bet these are the same parents that put so much pressure on their kids they feel like they have to cheat or they won’t be good enough. There’s a reason cheating is so rampant among kids these days. It all starts with the parents.

905 days ago


I don't know why everyone always calls it heinous or entrapment. If they wouldn't commit the crime, NBC wouldn't have anything to report. Simple as that.

905 days ago


I think this whole thing is effing STUPID! I have 5 amazing well behaved children and i think they would have probably done the same. The were set up. This is basically GYM class. Who gives a rats a##. they aren't cheating on the SAT's here. They are young impressionable kids who are being encouraged by adults to cheat. By the way each one of these kids acted, their faces, their body language, none of them thought it was ok. How many kids in reality would stand up to an adult over something so unimportant. I KNOW for a FACT my kids would stand up and do the right thing when it actaully matters, I can say this with confidance because each one of my boys has already done so. They have also apparently been taught to "glorify" if you will TV and people who are on it unfortunately. Seeing as how I don't have cable in my house, and my kids would rather play outside than sit inside and watch TV, I don't think they would give a crap about the TV aspect of it. They would feel like they were doing what was expected of them from a trusted adult. A teacher. I think the parents are the dispicable ones, THEY are the ones who were desperate to be on TV. ABSOLUTE LOSERS, every adult that participated in this humiliating experiance for these young kids should be ashamed of themselves.

905 days ago
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