West Point is facing the worst cheating scandal in decades

Seventy-two of the cadets accused of breaking the academy’s famous code of honor are freshman cadets, also known as the “ plebeian year, ” according to the academy. A student is a sophomore. They are all accused of cheating on a math exam in May, when West Point switched to virtual classes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There are approximately 1,200 students in the freshman class.

The allegations of cheating were first reported by USA Today.

“The honor process is working as expected and cadets will be held accountable for code violations,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in a statement to CNN.

“West Point honor code and character development program remain strong despite distance learning and the challenges posed by the pandemic,” Lt Col Christopher Ophardt, a West Point spokesman, said in a statement to CNN.

Evidence of cheating was discovered by instructors who, according to Ophardt, discovered “irregularities” while grading the calculus exams.

Two of the cases were dropped for lack of evidence and four other cadets resigned from the military academy. The remaining 67 students are waiting for a decision on their fate.

“Cadets are held responsible for breaking the code,” Ophardt said. “While disappointing, the Honor System is working, and these 67 remaining cases will be held accountable for their actions.”

Major cheat scandals

A total of 59 cadets admitted cheating on the exam, the academy said, and 55 of those now enrolled in the academy’s “ intentional admission process, ” a rehabilitation program that includes out-of-hours classes, ethics and honor code discussions. and be on probation for the rest of the year.

Four of the students who admitted to cheating were not eligible for the rehabilitation process, according to the academy, and will be faced with a cadet advisory board made up of fellow students, who will recommend their fate ranging from probation to deportation.

The academy’s superintendent, Lieutenant General Darryl Williams, will make a final decision on what will happen to them.

A full investigation session is being held for the eight cadets who did not admit to cheating, the academy said.

West Point has previously been rocked by major cheat scandals, most notably in 1951 and 1976, involving 152 cadets.

Many of the cadets from the 1976 incident were reintroduced because of the way the investigations and punishments were handled.