MIDDLETON (WKOW) -- Officials are investigating cheating allegations in a Middleton High School calculus class.
The investigation comes after the school district received four anonymous letters claiming students were taking pictures of exams and selling those pictures to other students. The letters also alleged that students were taking copies of the tests out of the classroom, and skipping class on test days to receive information from students who already took the test.
Perry Hibner, communications director for the Middleton Cross-Plains School district, says no students have been punished so far.
"At this point we don't have concrete evidence that somebody did, in fact, cheat. Maybe nobody did, maybe a handful of students did, maybe a lot more did. We will keep investigating. At the same time though we wanted to make sure that what we're doing was being proactive in terms of our response," said Hibner.
In the meantime, the school has decided to re-issue a new test to the 250 students in the class, to make things fair for those who didn't cheat. In addition, cell phones are no longer allowed during tests. Hibner says normal protocol allows students to have their cell phones in class.
"Do kids probably misuse cell phones at any school for the wrong reason? I mean yeah, come on...but if I'm in a room where there's not a computer available and I need to look something up or we're doing some small group work, we think there's some advantages to that," said Hibner. "When we had the bomb threat last month at the high school, the kids were notifying parents about it and me for that matter, my daughter telling me, before we even heard from the high school. There's a benefit to having that kind of connectivity."
The Wisconsin State Journal reports school officials sent a letter sent to parents Thursday, which stated that punishment for students found cheating can result in suspensions. The letter also said the school will hold focus groups starting in January for students and parents. The groups will discuss cheating in the classroom and what schools can do to prevent it.
In the meantime, investigations into these cheating allegations will continue.
"We're continuing to remind parents and students about what's acceptable and unacceptable behavior. We hope that some people will come forward and whether it's doing the right thing by turning themselves in or just saying 'Yes I know that these students did', but that's hard...that's not an easy thing for kids to do," said Hibner.
"There's a lot of pressure these kids are under, but we do want them to understand that we know they're high achieving students and we know that the vast majority of our kids are good kids. On the other hand, we also want them to be high character kids as well," Hibner says.
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