70 West Point cadets are accused of being involved in cheating scandal

Approximately seventy cadets have been accused of cheating on a math exam at the US Military Academy at West Point, creating a massive scandal that has received mixed reactions from command staff.

The exam, which was taken online over COVID-19 concerns, had several dozen cadets utilize less-than-honest means to get better grades.

The move goes against the stone-etched code of honor cadets are supposed to abide by.

“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do,” the moral code reads.

West Point law professor Tim Bakken called the matter a “national security issue,” according to USA Today.

“There’s no excuse for cheating when the fundamental code for cadets is that they should not lie, cheat or steal,” Bakken said. “Therefore when the military tries to downplay effects of cheating at the academy, we’re really downplaying the effects on the military as a whole. We rely on the military to tell us honestly when we should fight wars, and when we can win them.”

Others downplayed the incident.

“The Honor process is working as expected and cadets will be held accountable for breaking the code,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in a statement.

Seemingly very few higher-ranking officials seem to have a problem with the matter, implying that the cadets were still relatively new and not quite up to spec.

“The honor system at West Point is strong and working as designed,” Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, the academy’s superintendent, said in a statement. “We made a deliberate decision to uphold our academic standards during the pandemic. We are holding cadets to those standards.”

Army Col. Mark Weathers, West Point’s chief of staff, expressed his disappointment but stated that the cheating could not have occured if the cadets were on campus.

Weathers later stated that the incident was not a serious breach of the code.

72 first-year cadets and one second-year were accused of cheating on the May calculus final exam, but several were dropped due to lack of evidence.

Of the ones that remained, 55 were put into rehabilitation programs and the remainder resigned.

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