- The Washington Times - Monday, December 21, 2020

Dozens of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point have been accused of cheating on a math exam, with some resigning and others awaiting academic hearings that could result in their expulsion from the Army’s iconic educational institution.

According to USA Today, which first reported the scandal, more than 70 cadets were accused on a test that was administered remotely because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. All but one of the cadets is a first year student at the academy. The newspaper reported that 58 cadets admitted it and most will be placed in a “rehabilitation program” at West Point. They will be on probation for the remainder of their time there.

Army Col. Mark Weathers, West Point’s chief of staff, told USA Today the cheating would not have occurred if the cadets had taken the exam on campus. He did not consider the incident a “serious breach” of the military academy’s storied honor code: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.”

“The honor system at West Point is strong and working as designed,” Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, West Point’s superintendent, said in a statement. “We are holding cadets to those standards.”

Tim Bakken, a law professor at West Point, told USA Today that the scandal is a national security issue.

“When the military tries to downplay effects of cheating at the academy, we’re really downplaying the effects on the military as a whole,” Mr. Bakken said. “We rely on the military to tell us honestly when we should fight wars and when we can win them.”

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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