Local News

4 Students Linked to School Cheating Scandal

Posted February 26, 2008

— Chapel Hill High School officials have been able to connect only four students to a cheating scheme at the high school.

That's according to Stephanie Knott, assistant to the superintendent for community relations for Chapel Hill-Carborro City Schools. Knott said Tuesday that school officials have no evidence to implicate any other students in the scheme.

Knott said she did not have further information about the students involved other than to say they face out-of-school suspension for up to five days and that they received a zero grade on the test in question, which she believes was a social studies mid-term.

Knott also said the cheating should be construed as an isolated event, not as a widespread problem.

"Despite student allegations about events that may have transpired in previous school years, the school and district have been unable to uncover any evidence that they actually took place," Knott said, reading from a written statement.

In an e-mail to parents Thursday, Chapel Hill High Principal Jackie Ellis said officials believe students passed around copies of answers to at least one test that was obtained by using a copy of a master key passed down from student to student through the years.

"The information about it happening for a longer period of time has been forthcoming from the students who were caught in this instance," Knott said.

The student or students allegedly obtained the tests by entering teachers' offices after school, she said. They were captured on the school's surveillance cameras.

Chapel Hill police are not investigating the case, Lt. Kevin Gunter said, and will not be involved unless the school district makes a request.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ncguy Feb 27, 2008

    Knott is so covering her rear end!

  • jp534 Feb 27, 2008

    Getting past the Chapel Hill envy of some of the posters, I agree that cheating is wrong and there should be a zero tolerance policy. I'm sure that Chapel Hill high has a policy on cheating, and it should definitely be applied. I also think it would be appropriate and justified to charge the individuals that actually entered the school with breaking and entering or at least trespassing. However, it appears that is at the descretion of the school/school board and not the police.

    However, while the cheating is wrong, the overblown media coverage is disgusting. Sensationalism used to be limited to gossip papers like the National Enquirer and similar TV shows, but now even "mainstream" media like WRAL seem to feel the need to sensationalize anything the least bit controversial.

  • Gnathostomata Feb 27, 2008

    Does anyone see that the emphasis on testing needs to go? It puts a great strain on students and teachers, and it is subjected to bias and cheating so there is no way to accurately determine "class order", which is so important for college entrance. Some very knowlegable students do not do well on timed tests. Portfolios are more indicative of achievement and not as easily copied without flags going up all over the place.

    As a teacher, I put more emphasis on homework and class participation, which made the tests easier for students because they learned the information through the other two activities, and labs gave hands-on experience...I found the students grades for me indicated within a few points the same grade they earned on the state tests...not coincidental.

  • Gnathostomata Feb 27, 2008


    I did not cheat, which explains the grades in history, did not try to alibi my way out of the ticket, which cost plenty, and learned not to lie at a very early age because it gave me days of bad guilt. Lesson learned! Evidently we do not know each other, or you would know there are some people that live by a moral code, and it isn't to be "holier than thou" it is so I can look at myself in the mirror...and I do not have a good memory so couldn't remember the lie and would get caught in it too soon :)

  • simplelogic Feb 27, 2008

    Harvey, I never cheated in school either. Never needed to. If I was ever involved in cheating, it was from other kids copying off me without my knowledge. You must be justifying your own misbehavior, but you're way off base to suggest that everyone else is like that.

  • Chevelle Mackaroy Feb 27, 2008

    Cheating in high school...I can not believe it! I am horrified!

  • CestLaVie Feb 27, 2008

    Thank you, wakecountyvoter and TheLiberalIntellect for your comments. Liberal, I especially applaud you for standing up & speaking out in this situation. Stand your ground; you will eventually see something right come from your moral righteousness, even though now it seems very unfair.

    tarheelalum: I hope EVERYONE squeals, and EVERYONE involved in this is punished, and made an example of what happens when greed and win-at-all-costs consumes public and human morality.

    Harvey: No, I'm not a liar. SOME of us make it a point of going through life without cheating, lying, stealing, etc. because we KNOW it's wrong & that's the moral code with which we live.

    "...these kids are only doing what it takes to get a break..." Give me break!! They should try honesty and integrity - POWERFUL values.

    "This incident is not a predictor of future bad behavior." It could very well be a great predictor...I hope they learn better values and some integrity from this.

  • issymayake Feb 27, 2008

    Whoever is in possession of that key ought to face long-term suspension or expulsion.

    Now as far as the cheating, give them zeros, just like your average teacher awards any student cheating that doesn't make up a newsworthy story. This incident is not a predictor of future bad behavior. I'm sure with appropriate punishment, the students can move on from this, and it shouldn't ruin their lives.

  • Harvey Feb 26, 2008

    If you say you never cheated IN ANY WAY through school, no matter how small, you are a boldface liar. Dishonesty, no matter what color the air is in your world, is a vital part of our society. Like it or not, try and imagine life without it. You have never told a cop you were not speeding? you never lied about your weight? You have never trumped-up you resume to get that job you want so badly? Trust me folks, just because you are unable to face it, just because you PRETEND to be holier-than-thou, you need to get of your soapbox now. I do not condone this behavior, but these kids are only doing what it takes to get a break and need not be portrayed as criminals or misfits. They are teens... Plain and simple. Get over yourselves!

  • Time for the Truth Feb 26, 2008

    Liberal Intellect the other high school in Chapel Hill cheat also-UNC. How did Juluis Peppers graduate and couldn't read and write per his SI interview-Hummm. And a Morehead Scholar takes two hours to take an English exam and it only takes Raynomd Felton and Sean May 10 MINUTES!! More than high school cheaters in Chapel Hill!!