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Dozens of West Point cadets accused of taking advantage of COVID-imposed distance learning to cheat on math exam

In the largest cheating scandal at the United States Military Academy in years, 73 cadets are accused of taking advantage of distance learning requirements imposed by the coronavirus pandemic to cheat on a calculus exam, according to a report from USA Today.

Seventy-two of the cadets involved were freshmen and one was a sophomore, according to NBC News. Instructors discovered the alleged cheating when they observed that all the students — who were all in distance learning — made the exact same error on a calculus exam in May.

The academy then began an investigation and ultimately dropped charges against two of the cadets for lack of evidence. Four other investigations were dropped when the cadets resigned from the academy.

NBC reports that an Army spokesman confirmed that 59 cadets admitted to cheating on the exam. Fifty-five have been permitted to enroll in a six-month rehabilitation and probation program that will require them to complete extra coursework, as well as receive extra training regarding ethics and the academy’s code of honor.

According to a statement provided to TheBlaze by Army officials, the other four cadets who admitted to cheating did not qualify for the rehabilitation program and will face a Cadet Advisory Board consisting of their fellow students. The CAB will make a decision about the fate of those students, which could include expulsion from the academy.

Officials confirmed that the remaining eight students will face a full Honor Investigative Hearing.

In a statement provided to CNN, Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt said, “Cadets are being held accountable for breaking the code. While disappointing, the Honor System is working, and these … cases will be held accountable for their actions.”

Multiple reports indicate that this may be the largest cheating scandal to face the academy since at least 1976, when more than 150 cadets were accused of cheating.

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