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'Widespread' cheating by students caught in Brophy Prep math course

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Posted at 5:09 PM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-21 01:34:05-04

PHOENIX — Brophy College Preparatory sent a letter to parents Friday exposing a “widespread, pervasive” cheating scandal in a math course at the school.

The letter, also provided to ABC15 by the school, tells parents that students paid other classmates to falsify identities on digital systems to complete online homework and take tests for them.

“Over the last 72 hours, we have become aware of academic dishonesty in your son’s Math class. Initially, we believed this to be limited to a small group of students, but our investigation has revealed this cheating to be widespread, even pervasive, across several sections of this course. We have learned that some students devised a system whereby they would pay classmates to falsify their identities in the course’s digital assessment system and then complete online homework and assessments. Sadly, we believe a significant number of the students in these courses have been engaged in, if not at least aware of, this system at some point this Semester,” the letter reads.

The letter goes on to say that graduation ceremonies scheduled for Saturday will happen as planned.

“I want to acknowledge the awkward timing of this sobering news, which comes on the cusp of an otherwise celebratory weekend. We will continue conversations with individual students and families in the coming days, but do not plan to address this incident this evening or tomorrow and detract from the celebrations the vast majority of our seniors have rightly earned,” the letter reads.

The school says it will have an internal review and audit of its assessment strategy across every department to “ensure the integrity of our academic program.”

A top Brophy representative says it would be “impossible to know” the exact number of students involved, but said it is less than 100.

"Complete disappointment in the students and shock,” said a family member of a senior student involved in the cheating scheme, who didn’t want to be identified. "It makes it so much more unfair to the other students. The other students who worked hard to get into that college,” they said.

The letter asks parents to talk to their children individually to find out if they were involved in the cheating.

As for punishment, the school representative said repercussions would be a “range of things” spelled out in the student handbook depending on the level of cheating. Exact details on the possible punishments weren’t released.