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Report: West Point hit by major cheating scandal, dozens of cadets implicated

Cheating allegedly took place during remote learning period.

Updated: April 17, 2021 - 5:45pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The United States Military Academy at West Point, one of the most storied institutions of higher education in the United States, is currently dealing with what is reportedly one of the worst academic cheating scandals there over the past decade, with dozens of cadets implicated in a scheme that took place during remote learning.

The academy this month "concluded investigations into its largest cheating scandal in at least four decades" and "punished dozens of cadets found to be dishonest on an exam while studying remotely," the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

As part of its response to the controversy, the school is reportedly ending its "willful admission process," a rule by which cadets can admit to wrongdoing and potentially avoid expulsion. "It's clear to me, it has to go," Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams told the Journal.

School authorities were first tipped off to a possible cheating scheme in May, when professors grading a calculus exam "began seeing suspicious patterns: multiple students with similarly worked step-by-step solutions."

An investigation revealed that "small groups [of students] had collaborated openly with each other, including by talking by phone as well as by text-messaging and communicating through FaceTime and Zoom."