The students at Stuyvesant High School, one of New York City’s most prestigious public high schools have taken cheating to a higher level, and their principal, Stanley Teitel, has apparently had enough.
Teitel resigned from his position last Friday during a city investigation of his handling of a cheating scandal which involved 71 of the schools smartest students. It is alleged that these students cheated on their Spanish, English and physics Regents tests last June using cellphones to photograph and send test questions and their answers.
According to one source, “The culture of cheating is so ingrained. Everybody cheats all the time – on homework, on tests, on everything. It’s what you do to get by. It’s totally accepted by the students, and nobody has ever cared about it or done anything about it. That’s the way it’s been for years.”
Lest anyone think that the students are cheating because they are not doing well, or are too lazy to study, that seems to not be the case, at least according to one parent:
“Students cheat with or without a cellphone” the parent said. “Students cheat not because they are stupid, but because there is a culture of it. A few years ago when the students were caught, [Teitel] wanted metal detectors put in during the exams” she added. “He was told no.”
Another parent confirmed that what interests these students more than getting good grades is seeing in what new and creative ways they can “beat the system.”
“The kids are so smart, they don’t have to cheat. It’s a badge of honor to cheat and get away with it at Stuyvesant. You’re revered by your fellow students. And it’s all over the place – whenever they can, they do” said the parent.
Another parent added: “Stuy kids are so smart; they push the envelope to a higher level. They cheat not only because they can, but figure new and cunning ways to do it.”
Students had mixed reactions to the news of Teitel’s resignation. One student, graduate Victoria Mia, tweeted that: “Stuy’s hard-ass principal Teitel retiring?! All the 2012 seniors are tighhhtttt it didn’t happen sooner.”
But another student was not as joyful: “I fear for the quality of the school” the student said.
The Department of Education finished its investigation and decided to suspend 6 of the students involved in the cheating scandal and have 71 take their tests again. The DOE also said they will announce an acting principal within the week and will begin the search for a permanent principal in September.