Seven individuals involved in a cheating ring were recently arrested. It is alleged that they paid college students thousands of dollars to impersonate high school students and complete the SATs. Both college and high school students involved are charged with an array of crimes, including falsifying business records and criminal impersonation, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.
Continued arrests of both college and high school students fuel growing concerns of a larger cheating ring epidemic spanning throughout the country.
Nassau County Juveniles Claim They Were Double Crossed
District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice states that Great Neck North High School faculty members began to hear rumors of the scandal in early 2011. Administrators identified the students in a two-step process — first they looked for discrepancies between academic performance and SAT scores, followed by noting where the student registered to take the test. According to the New York Post, students allegedly had the impersonator take the exam at a different school to avoid recognition by proctors.
The arrested students claim they were double crossed by the district attorney. CBS New York reports the students argue they were led to believe cooperation with Rice would result in a lesser punishment. The students claim the various suspensions and revoked privileges they received were presented as their only form of punishment.
Allegations May Provide Catalyst for Future Changes to School Policies
Regardless of any double cross, schools are taking the students’ involvement seriously. CBS New York further reports the superintendent, Dr. Dan Brenner, stated the district “does not tolerate cheating and is vigilant in protecting the integrity of the academic process.” He clarifies the testing organizations are responsible for security and integrity of the exam results, but “hopes that the actions being taken by the District Attorney’s Office will serve to bring an end to any dishonest practices…”
Any juvenile charged with a crime should speak with an experienced Nassau County juvenile crimes defense lawyer to discuss his or her legal rights and options.