A total of 73 cadets have been accused of cheating in the May exam, while 58 cadets have admitted to cheating, spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt said on Dec. 21.
“West Point honor code and character development program remains strong despite remote learning and the challenges brought by the pandemic,” Ophardt said, according to The Associated Press. “Cadets are being held accountable for breaking the code.”
The cheating was uncovered by instructors who found “irregularities” in answers while grading the calculus exams, the military spokesman said.
Of the 58 cadets who admitted to cheating, 55 have been enrolled in a six-month rehabilitation program called the “Willful Admission Program,” according to USA Today, which first reported the story.
The program includes talking to a mentor about their offenses, with a focus on ethics. The cadets will remain on probation for the rest of their time at the academy, Ophardt said. The three other cadets who also admitted to cheating in the exam weren’t eligible for the rehabilitation program.
The remaining cadets accused of cheating will face administrative hearings, during which the board will decide whether they violated the Cadet Honor Code, which could potentially lead to expulsion.
All but one cadet accused of cheating on the calculus exam were freshmen or first-year cadets; that cadet was a second-year student.
Following preliminary hearings, two accused students have had their cases dropped because of insufficient evidence, while four cadets resigned from the academy, ending their disciplinary investigations.
‘Cadet Honor Code’
The Cadet Honor Code is engraved in a memorial at the Academy and reads, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”
“There’s no excuse for cheating when the fundamental code for cadets is that they should not lie, cheat, or steal,” Tim Bakken, a law professor at West Point, told USA Today, adding that he thinks the cheating scandal is a national security issue.
The scandal is the biggest at the academy since 1976, when 153 cadets resigned or were expelled for cheating on an electrical engineering exam.
Ophardt said the 1976 case is considered to be more serious because it was upperclassmen who planned, collaborated, and executed the cheating. Many of the cadets who were involved in the 1976 scandal later returned to the academy and graduated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From NTD News