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Children need a solid moral compass

Virtually all of the rich and powerful parents caught in the federal probe last year of cheating schemes meant to get their children into prestige colleges and universities have insisted their hearts were in the right place. They just wanted to help their children. What mom or dad cannot understand that?

But there is more to it, as the case involving entertainer Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli demonstrates. Last week, they joined about 30 others who have pleaded guilty to federal charges in the college admissions scandal.

Working with an admissions consultant, Rick Singer, the two concocted a lie intended to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. It revolved around getting them admitted as members of the USC crew team ­– though the two had never participated in the sport.

Elaborate lies including staged pictures of one daughter looking “like a real athlete” and fake sports profiles were used.

Perhaps most disturbing, the daughters appear to have known something nefarious was afoot. Prosecutors say the girls were “complicit in crime.”

When their high school counselor questioned the daughters’ faked credentials as crew athletes, Giannulli confronted him angrily.

Bottom line: Both Loughlin and Giannulli — and perhaps their daughters — knew very well that what they were doing was wrong and illegal.

Last week, an angry federal judge sentenced Loughlin to two months in prison and Giannulli to five months. Community service work was required, a was a total of $400,000 in fines.

It doesn’t seem adequate. Loughlin and Giannulli not only tried to use their wealth and power to get what they wanted — they also corrupted their two daughters.

Like so many others caught in the scandal, however, Giannulli and Loughlin maintain they were blinded to right and wrong by their desire to help their children.

Baloney. The vast majority of parents, we think, understand one of the best gifts they can give children is a solid moral compass. Clearly, those in the cheating scandal had no such thing to pass on.

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