New York’s academically elite Stuyvesant High School may have some of the brightest minds in the city but there are also students who were skating by towards top universities in the country through acts of cheating. Officials in the city reported on Tuesday morning that more than 50 students were caught cheating as part of a massive cell phone answers ring.
Student Nayeem Ashan was caught photographing a citywide Spanish exam last week after a proctor noticed his suspicious behavior and searched his phone. The proctor at that time also found pictures for the Regents exams English and physics tests.
City officials will not discuss an ongoing probe but did confirm that Ashan was expelled from Stuyvesant following the incident.
Students at Stuyesant in the meantime have stood behind their fellow student, creating a change.org petition in which they demand his reinstatement. The petition read:
“Nayeem Ahsan is a valued member of the Stuyesant community. He plays an integral role in school morale, photographing all major school events among the countless other selfless deeds he’s done for the class of 2013. His absence would leave the senior class of 2013 defunct. Expulsion from his home for the last three years is an exorbitant repercussion for his mistake, Nayeem does not deserve to have his future ripped out of his hands, simply so the administration can set an example.”
In the meantime setting an example of Ashan is exactly what the school needed to do. Stuyvesant High School admits only the top-tier of eighth-graders who ace the city’s specialized high schools. By expelling a known cheater city official’s are able to set an example of students who don’t play by the rules.
Of the more than 250 signatures located on the Change.org position it’s likely that at least some students benefited from Ashan’s illegal activities.
New York school students are banned from carrying cell phones on school property, a rule enacted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and which has drawn opposition. Bloomberg has cited exam security among the reasons phones should not be allowed on school property.