WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is facing its biggest scandal since 1976 as more than 70 cadets were found to have allegedly cheated on an online exam this May.
- The academy’s spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Ophardt, confirmed that the cheating incident involved 73 cadets, 72 freshmen and 1 sophomore.
- Of the 73 cases, six cases have been dropped due to insufficient evidence while 55 have since enrolled in a rehabilitation program, while the rest are awaiting a decision from the academy.
Over 70 cadets training to be Army officers at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point have been accused of cheating on a math exam taken virtually earlier this year.
West Point’s public affairs director said in a statement released Monday that a total of 73 cadets allegedly cheated in an online calculus exam in May after instructors noticed irregularities in the cadet’s submitted answers. All except one were “plebes”, the other was a sophomore.
“West Point honor code and character development program remains strong despite remote learning and the challenges brought by the pandemic,” Ophardt told PEOPLE. “There have been no exceptions to policy for any of these cases.” USA Today was the first to report the news.
Following investigations and preliminary hearings by the Cadet Honor Committee, two cases were dismissed for lack of evidence, along with four others because the cadets resigned from West Point, Ophardt said.
Out of the remaining 67 cases, 55 cadets have admitted cheating and have since been enrolled in a rehabilitation program that involved classes on ethics and the honor code. They will be on probation for the rest of the year, CNN reported.
Officials also confirmed that four more cadets admitted cheating but since they weren’t eligible for the rehabilitation program, their cases will be handled instead by the Cadet Advisory Board.
As for the eight remaining cadets, a full Honor Investigative Hearing will be carried out.
“While disappointing, the Honor System is working, and these 67 remaining cases will be held accountable for their actions,” Ophardt said.
The latest cheating incident at West Point is the biggest since 1976 where more than 150 cadets either resigned or were expelled for cheating on an electrical engineering exam.
Of the 150, 92 cadets were readmitted after a Pentagon amnesty required them to perform “useful service” for a year outside the academy.