More than 70 West Point Cadets Accused of Cheating on Online Calculus Exam
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is facing its biggest scandal in decades as over 70 cadets have been accused of cheating on an exam earlier this year.
Seventy-three cadets — all but one of which are "plebes," or freshmen — allegedly cheated during their calculus final exam taken remotely in May, officials confirm to PEOPLE. USA Today was first to report the news.
The cheating was uncovered when instructors grading the exam found irregularities in the cadets' submitted mathematical work.
West Point's honor code states that cadets "will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do."
Following investigations and preliminary hearings conducted by the Cadet Honor Committee, two of the cases were dropped for lack of evidence, while another four were dropped because the cadets resigned from West Point.
The remaining 67 cadets are awaiting a decision from the famed military academy.
"The Honors process is working as expected, and there have been no exceptions to policy for any of these cases,” Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt, the academy’s public affairs director, said in a statement. “Cadets are being held accountable for breaking the code.”
Officials confirm that 59 cadets admitted to cheating on the exam.
Of that group, 55 cadets have since been enrolled in the Willful Admission Process, a rehabilitation program involving classes after hours, discussions on ethics and the honor code, and being on probation for the rest of the year, according to CNN.
The four other cadets who admitted to cheating did not meet the criteria to be enrolled in the program, and their cases will instead be handled through the Cadet Advisory Board, according to officials.
A full Honor Investigative Hearing will be conducted for the eight remaining cadets.
"While disappointing, the Honor System is working, and these 67 remaining cases will be held accountable for their actions," Ophardt said.
West Point's most recent major cheating scandal occurred in 1976, when more than 150 seniors were expelled or resigned for cheating on an electrical engineering final exam, according to The New York Times.
After reportedly accepting a Pentagon amnesty that required a full year of “useful service” away from West Point, 92 of the cadets were readmitted.