Belding Students Caught Cheating; Risk Not Graduating

Posted at 10:23 PM, May 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-12 01:41:49-04

BELDING, Mich. — A Belding High School senior spoke with FOX 17 on condition of anonymity.

Just weeks from graduating, he said he received answers to a take-home test for AP literature electronically, and so did dozens of other students.

Photos of the teacher’s answer key were sent to his personal phone. Now many students are in trouble for cheating.

“Some people are in deep water. I guess you can say, in hot water,” he said.

However, he and the principal said that the teacher gives students access to the answer key. That’s done so students can correct their answers, and they can re-take the test multiple times.

“You get to see the answer as many times as you want, but I guess if you take a picture of it, that’s against the rules,” the student said.

The student said someone took the pictures using their school-issued iPad and then students began to forward it.

Most students received the photos of the answer key on their school iPads.

The student said a substitute teacher randomly searched a student’s iPad, found the pictures, and then school administration got involved.

“They pretty much just searched all these iPads,” the student said.

Since then dozens of students, mostly seniors, have been called to the principal’s office fearing repercussions.

“It’s a challenge. We’ve also, our technology folks have been looking and been able to trace some of this which has helped us,” Brett Zuver, Belding’s high school principal said.

“But it’s too bad, it’s something that we hopefully can work through, and our students can learn from.

“[I’m] very proud of a lot of them. They’ve come forward and been very honest about it and realized that this was a mistake I made and really want to make up for it and put this behind them, learn from it and get ready to graduate here in about two weeks,” Zuver explained.

Darren Cunningham: “My understanding is that this could risk graduation. What, what’s the punishment for those students who have coming forward and for those who don’t, who will later, and possibly get caught?”

Zuver replied, “Correct. It’s kind of a big, everybody’s got kind of a little bit different level of involvement.”

“We’re trying to be as fair and consistent as possible,” he added”.

Zuver said a number of the students who admitted to cheating are being allowed to re-take the test in a different form.

Some students haven’t taken the test at all. There’s a lot administration is sorting through.

Zuver said there have been bumps along the way with the new iPads, but overall, they have been great for classroom learning.