With hundreds of cadets suspected of breaching the academy’s honor code in the spring, America’s famed military school West Point has been rocked by its greatest cheating scandal in decades.
The exclusive school, located 95 kilometers north of New York City on the banks of the Hudson River, has a code that states, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”
In May, however, after professors discovered inconsistencies in their answers, more than 70 students were accused of cheating on their final calculus exam while learning remotely due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials claimed.
Two cases were dropped due to a lack of evidence, while four cadets resigned from West Point as a result of the investigation.
In the remaining 67 cases, 55 students accepted their guilt and were placed in a “Special Leader Development Program” to help them get back on their feet.
Officials claimed that eight of the students will be subjected to further inquiry, while four will face a school board.
A school spokesman, Christopher Ophardt, told AFP that “cadets are being held accountable for breaking the code.”
“While disappointing, the honor system is working, and these 67 remaining cases will be held accountable for their actions,” continued.
It is the largest cheating controversy at West Point since 1976, when 152 cadets were accused of cheating and a special commission was created by the US Secretary of the Army to investigate.
The investigation found that the students’ rights had not been respected, and that the honor code investigation process had not been properly followed.
The four-year course at West Point, which was created in 1802, has 4,000 army cadets enrolled. They are given free tuition in exchange for five years of active service following graduation.
Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin are among the notable alumni.