Earlier this year, a major scandal rocked the United States Military Academy at West Point when 73 cadets were accused of cheating on a virtual calculus exam. The prestigious military academy, which boasts two presidents of the United States as graduates, has said this was the worst mass-cheating incident at the institution since 1976, when 152 West Point upperclassmen were suspected of academic dishonesty. Following the most recent scandal, some cadets pled guilty while others resigned – but the vast majority maintained their innocence.
Now, several months later, West Point has reached a decision on how to proceed with this case – and it is likely to have a major impact on many students' lives. Of the 73 cadets accused of cheating, six resigned from West Point, four were acquitted, and two cases were dropped – but 61 were found guilty of cheating. Of these, 51 students were held back one academic year, and two were held back six months. Eight of the cadets were expelled, while five were given the opportunity to enlist in the army and reapply at West Point in the future.
Serious Consequences for Cadets
The consequences for the cadets caught cheating at West Point have been severe and will almost certainly have an impact on the future military careers of the individuals involved. The academy maintains that its strict honor code does not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing, but West Point history professor Tim Bakken also insists that most of the cadets found guilty of cheating “have a second chance to prove themselves and serve the nation.” Bakken also adds that these consequences are “the right place to start in building trust and developing honor for the benefit of the country in the future.”
As a result of the scandal, West Point also quashed a program that gave students who violated the honor code the chance to remain at the school by admitting guilt and accepting punishment. Upon review, the school's leaders determined that the program, known as the Willful Admission Process, did not achieve its purpose of encouraging self-reporting and decreasing toleration. Without the program, students who violate the honor code are more likely to face expulsion, meaning the outcome of this recent spate of cheating will likely affect students long into the future.
A Strong Defense for the Accused
West Point cadets – as well as students at other academic and military institutions who have been accused of cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty – have a right to consult counsel, even if they are considering resigning instead of facing honor proceedings. It is imperative that cadets and midshipmen have the best possible chance at fair outcomes. Joseph D. Lento is tenacious in ensuring that the interests of the accused are paramount at every step in the process. The government and schools have their lawyers, so put the Lento Law Firm to work for you. Call 888-535-3686 today.