More than 70 West Point cadets are caught cheating on remote exam in biggest academic scandal at military school in 44 years
Investigation reveals ALL of the first-year students made same mistake in their maths test
In total, 73 cadets have been accused of cheating on the mathematics exam
72 of the alleged cheaters being ‘Plebes’ [first-year students], and one one sophmore, back in May
Four of those accused in the investigation have resigned from the academy
Two cadets accused of cheating have seen their cases dropped because of insufficient evidence
58 of the cadets involved have enrolled in the Willful Admission Program, West Point’s own spin on academic probation
Prior to this, West Point dealt with a massive cheating scandal in 1976, when 153 cadets resigned or were expelled for cheating, though many later returned
Some of the students at the nation’s premier miitary institution, West Point, are embroiled in the academy’s worst cheating scandal in over four decades.
Seventy-three cadets were caught cheating on a mathematics exam after all of them made the same error on their calculus final back in May.
It’s not immediately clear how the cadets – 72 of whom were ‘plebes’ [first-year students], at the time and one sophmore – cheated on the test, which was administered remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Over 70 students were accused of cheating on the test. However, only 58 have admitted to doing so, leading to disciplinary action.
‘There’s no excuse for cheating when the fundamental code for cadets is that they should not lie, cheat or steal,’ West Point law professor Tim Bakken said to USA Today.
‘The Honor process is working as expected and cadets will be held accountable for breaking the code,’ said Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.
There was a single second-year student who also allegedly cheated on the calculus test.
So far, two accused of cheating have seen their cases dropped because of insufficient evidence, while four cadets resigned from the academy, ending their disciplinary investigations.
On December 9, 55 cadets were enrolled in a rehabilitation program called the Willful Admission Program, a six-month exercise that pairs cadets with mentors and sees them write essays about their experiences.
The other cadets will face hearings in front of their peers about honor violations, while another board will recommend penalties for those who are confirmed to have cheated.
Expulsion is on the table, with the school’s superintendent making final decisions on the status of the cadets.
Those accused in the cheating scandal have not been publicly identified, but most of those accused of cheating reportedly, have enrolled in the school’s academic probation program.
Prior to this, the most recent major scandal at West Point happened in 1976, when cheating on an electrical engineering exam resulted in the resignation or expulsion of 153 cadets.
That cheating scandal involved third-year cadets, instead of the group of largely first-year cadets embroiled in the current cheating scandal.
Many of those involved in the 1976 scandal would later return to the school and graduate from the academy.