New York Daily News

They cheat on Regents? Eh, it’s okay

- BY LINDA KINSTLER AND RACHEL MONAHAN With Matthew Lysiak, Kerry Burke and Angy Altamirano rmonahan@nydailynew­

AS MANY AS 100 students have been caught up in a cheating scandal at Stuyvesant High School but most have walked away with little more than a slap on the wrist.

The student at the center of the scandal, junior Nayeem Ahsan, was forced out of the school when he was nabbed taking pictures of Regents exams and texting the answers to his friends.

But the kids who received those texts have so far avoided major punishment.

“I will not allow any of the students involved to hold positions of (school) leadership,” Principal Stanley Teitel wrote in a letter to parents of kids who received the answers.

The kids will be barred from a talent show and banned from leaving campus during lunch, he wrote. “I find this breach of integrity very serious and hope you will talk with your child about the need to remain honest.”

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott promised an “expedited” investigat­ion including a review of punishment­s. “Obviously, I’m outraged it took place,” he said. “We’re not going to tolerate it.”

Students and teachers said cheating has been a widespread problem at the school. One school source said Ahsan was a “repeat offender” who was snared in a June 18 sting. “They wanted to nab him with an open-and-shut case,” the source said.

Kids at the elite school are under intense pressure to get into top colleges; many have parents who expect only top marks.

A source said Stuyvesant officials haven’t identified all the recipients of Ahsan’s messages, and Walcott wouldn't rule out the possibilit­y that the probes will look at whether students from other schools were involved.

Ahsan was a popular junior whose classmates have rallied around him since he was caught. Some 251 people signed an online petition urging a lighter punishment.

But other classmates called him a slacker.

“It didn’t seem like he put much effort into the class,” one physics classmate said.

Ahsan’s father, Najmul Ahsan, said his son was a “good boy, a very hard worker” who had been smeared in the press. “All the things they publish are lies,” he said. “Please pray for us.”

 ??  ?? H How Th The N News covered d the story on Tuesday.
H How Th The N News covered d the story on Tuesday.

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