UNC reacts to Chapel Hill cheating scandal

March 1, 2008 8:10:33 AM PST
UNC is just one of several schools probing the Chapel Hill High School cheating scandal. They say they're prepared to revoke admission or dismiss any students involved, if they don't come forward first.

Several students were recently suspended for cheating on exams at the high school. Now UNC is just one university asking if any of their own students were involved. "We do have staff members who've talked to staff at Chapel Hill High School," Stephen Farmer with the UNC Admissions Office explained.

About 40 Chapel Hill High School graduates attend UNC-Chapel Hill every year. On their application, they're asked if they've ever been suspended or dismissed for cheating. Farmers adds, "We also tell them on the application, if you're suspended at any point after you file this application, you need to notify us in writing immediately."

Students who don't come forward could face trouble from school administration. "That may be grounds either for us to deny your application or withdraw your application, or revoke your admission if you've already been admitted, or dismiss you," Farmer said.

UNC officials say they're not aware of any current or prospective students involved in the cheating scandal, but say they wouldn't be surprised if that's the case. They want to hear it from the students first.

"We've actually not asked the school for information about the students at that school, any who might have applied to Chapel Hill, because we want the students themselves to come forward and do the right thing and let us know," Farmer said.

In an e-mail sent to parents from Chapel Hill Principal Jackie Ellis last week, Ellis explained some students made copies of a master key that gave them access to teacher's offices where test answers were stored.

Ellis wrote that the keys were passed from class to class for years when students involved in the activity graduated. The principal's note also mentions "a separate cheating incident" where students got test answers and passed them around.


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