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West Point faces worst cheating scandal in nearly 45 years involving more than 70 cadets

West Point faces worst cheating scandal in nearly 45 years involving more than 70 cadets
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More than 70 cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point have been accused of cheating on a math exam, the worst academic dishonesty scandal to hit the military academy in decades.

Fifty-nine cadets have admitted to cheating on the final exam in May in a calculus course, which was administered remotely amid the coronavirus pandemic, USA Today first reported. All of the cadets made the same mistake in one section of the test.

West Point instructors initially raised accusations against 73 cadets, including 72 first-year cadets and one second-year cadet, West Point officials confirmed to The Hill. 

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However, two cases were dismissed due to a lack of evidence, and four were dismissed because the cadets resigned.

Fifty-five cadets have enrolled in a program for rehabilitation know as the “Willful Admissions Process," officials confirmed. 

Within the process, cadets write journals and essays, are paired with a mentor and enroll in other programs, USA Today reported. 

Four other cadets who admitted to cheating are not eligible for the program, which can last up to six months, officials confirmed.

The remaining individuals are facing administrative hearings over the accusations, and they could face a range of penalties, including being expelled, USA Today reported.

West Point’s honor code states, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”

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

In 1976, more than 150 West Point cadets resigned or were expelled over cheating on an electrical engineering exam. The scandal included third-year cadets.

West Point adopted remote learning following spring break during the last academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic.