SJA student articles

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As evidence piles up against members of the men’s soccer team in an alleged cheating scandal, students and parents alike have criticized the school administration’s response to the situation.


After math teacher Delano F. Franklin announced that his class received exceptionally high grades on the geometry final, students have alleged that members of the men’s soccer team cheated on their exams to maintain a high enough GPA to continue playing in games. 


Mathlete Aidan P. Ryan said he saw two members of the team enter the math office after school.


“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,” Ryan said. “It just seems fishy, like they went to make a copy of the exam.”


The administration has faced pressure from students and parents regarding the issue.  


Simone D. Chu, a parent of a Sky High student, is one of many parents that reached out to administration to express her concerns. 


“The administration needs to show that honesty is valued over profit, that all kids at this school will be treated fairly. As a parent, I cannot condone this type of behavior in my household,” Chu said. 


Principal Shera L. Avi-Yonah said the administration is “looking into the allegations” and will be “as transparent as we can.”


“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,” Avi-Yonah said.


Men’s soccer coach Jonah S. Berger defended the team’s integrity. 


“They are some of the greatest boys I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching,” Berger said. “They’re hardworking and honest, and I am appalled at how they have been treated by this community.”


This is not the first time the team has been involved with academic dishonesty. 


Last year, five players were suspended from playing for one game due to cheating on the chemistry final. Some students believe that because the men’s soccer team brings in money from championships and donations, the administration is reluctant to take players off the team.


The issue has prompted discussions of preferential treatment for  the men’s soccer team, especially when compared to the women’s team who has had similar levels of success. .


“The women’s soccer team has long been underfunded and underappreciated,” women's soccer coach Alexis A. Luther said. “We have won multiple state championships, and still are not seen as equals with the men’s team. My girls are simply frustrated with how the administration has handled the situation, as they ought to be.”


Molly V. McCaffert, a women’s soccer player, said she remains dedicated to her sport.


“It’s hard knowing that no matter how many championships we win or how hard we work, we will never be on the same level as the boys team, but I know that we will continue to work our hardest, whether or not we have the same support from the school as the boys team,” she said.