West Point faces worst cheating scandal in decades

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FILE – In this June 13, 2020 photo, President Donald Trump, left, and the United States Military Academy superintendent Darryl A. Williams, right, salute graduating cadets as the national anthem is played during commencement ceremonies in West Point, N.Y. More than 70 West Point cadets have been accused of cheating on a math exam taken online when they were studying remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. A spokesman at the U.S. Military Academy says 55 cadets admitted cheating on the calculus exam in May. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool)

WEST POINT, N.Y. (NewsNation Now) — More than 70 West Point cadets have been accused of cheating on an exam while studying remotely, the worst major cheating incident at the academy in four decades.

A spokesman at the U.S. Military Academy told NewsNation 59 cadets admitted to cheating on an online calculus exam in May. Most of them have been enrolled in a rehabilitation program and will be on probation until they graduate.

The cheating came to light when instructors grading the exam identified irregularities in the work.

“West Point honor code and character development program remains strong despite remote learning and the challenges brought by the pandemic,”  Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt, a spokesperson for West Point, said in a statement sent to NewsNation. “The Honors process is working as expected and there have been no exceptions to policy for any of these cases.”

Out of the 73 cases, two were dropped and four other cadets resigned. Eight cadets say they are not guilty and will have a hearing on the accusations early next year.

Seventy-two of the cadets were freshman and one was a sophomore.

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

The last major cheating incident at West Point was in 1976 when 152 upperclassmen were caught cheating.

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