More than 70 cadets from the US Military Academy at West Point have been charged with cheating on a math exam, the worst academic dishonesty scandal to hit the military academy in decades.
Fifty-nine cadets have admitted cheating in graduating exams in May in a calculus course, which was conducted remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, USA Today first reported. All cadets made the same mistake in part of the test.
West Point instructors initially had charges against 73 cadets, including 72 freshman cadets and a sophomore cadet, West Point officials confirmed to The Hill.
However, two cases were dismissed for lack of evidence, and four were dismissed because the cadets had resigned.
Fifty-five cadets have enrolled in a rehabilitation program known as the “Willful Admissions Process,” officials confirmed.
Within the process, cadets write magazines and essays, are matched with a mentor, and enroll in other programs, USA Today reported.
Four other cadets who admitted to cheating are not eligible for the program, which can last up to six months, officials confirmed.
The remaining individuals are facing administrative hearings on the charges, and they could face a range of penalties, including deportation, USA Today reported.
West Point’s code of honor states, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”
“West Point honor code and character development program remain strong despite distance learning and the challenges posed by the pandemic,” Lt Col Christopher Ophardt said in a statement to The Hill. “The Honors process works as expected and there are no exceptions to the policy for any of these cases. Cadets are held accountable for code violations. While disappointing, the Honor system works, and these 67 remaining cases will be held accountable. are called for their deeds. ”
In 1976, more than 150 West Point cadets resigned or were expelled for cheating on an electrical engineering exam. The scandal involved third-year cadets.
West Point adopted distance learning after last academic year’s spring break due to the coronavirus pandemic.