The Sky High men’s soccer team is facing allegations that they cheated on a geometry final exam to ensure eligibility for the upcoming championship game.
Math teacher Delano F. Franklin announced to his geometry class students received extremely high grades on the final exam. According to school policy, student-athletes must maintain a C-average to play in the game.
Aidan P. Ryan, a member of the Superhero Mathletes, said he and his fellow Mathletes were discussing their upcoming championship with Franklin the day before the exam and saw some suspicious behavior.
“Joey and Brian, the star soccer players, went into the math department just as we were packing up after our math team practice,” Ryan said. “They walked in, came out with a sheet of paper, walked towards the direction of the library, and then came back pretty quickly with multiple sheets of paper in their hands like they went to make a copy of the exam.”
The head coach of the men’s soccer team, Jonah S. Berger, denied any allegations of academic dishonesty.
“There’s no definitive proof that my boys cheated,” he said. “They’re hardworking and honest, and I am appalled at how they have been treated by this community.”
Despite Berger’s denials, some parents such as Simone D. Chu remain uneasy.
“We should not be teaching our kids these kinds of values,” Chu said. “Why should I just stand by while I see this dishonesty at my child’s school?”
Principal Shera L. Avi-Yonah reiterated that cheating will not go unchecked. “The administration is looking into the allegations to the best of our ability and will be as transparent as we can with the community,” Avi-Yonah said. “We do not tolerate and have never tolerated this kind of behavior in our community, but we must be able to prove these allegations are true beyond a reasonable doubt before we are able to discuss possible punishments.”
This incident is not the first accusation of wrongdoing against the men's soccer team. Last year, five players were caught cheating on a chemistry final and got suspended for only one game. Several parents and students criticized the punishment as too lenient.
Women's soccer head coach Alexis A. Luther said that the administration has given the men's soccer team a blank check at the expense of other deserving programs.
“The women’s soccer team has long been underfunded and underappreciated. We have won multiple state championships and still are not seen as equals with the men’s team,” Luther said. “My girls are simply frustrated with how the administration has handled the situation, as they ought to be.”
Students have picked up on this favoritism, as student Josh O. Florence jokingly said,“Maybe I should try out for soccer next year, they get whatever they want.”