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State Senator: Parents Were Involved In Long Island SAT Cheating Scandal

Sources: More Than A Dozen Students Will Turn Themselves In Tuesday
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SAT ACT cheating scandal

Scholastic Aptitude Test prep book. (Photo: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As many as 13 students are expected to surrender Tuesday morning to face charges in Nassau County’s expanding SAT scandal.

The cheating scandal first surfaced at Great Neck North High School in September.

Sources said both test takers and those who paid imposters to take the SAT or ACT for them are expected to turn themselves in. They have all hired lawyers, reports CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

Sources tell 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera this next wave of arrests will include current and former students of Great Neck South High School, Roslyn High School, North Shore Hebrew Academy High School and St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset.

Dr. Dan Brenner, Roslyn’s superintendent of schools, said in a statement, “Individuals who may have cheated on college entrance exams bear sole responsibility for their actions.”

He added that the district does not tolerate cheating and is vigilant in protecting the integrity of the academic process.

Brenner said the school has “fully cooperated with the Nassau County District Attorney’s investigation into cheating on college entrance exams” but noted that the tests are administered by private organizations and that school districts have no direct involvement with the exams.

“Schools provide an exam site for the convenience of their students and as a courtesy to the testing organizations,” Brenner said. “All arrangements to ensure security and for the integrity of exam results rest entirely with them.”

A statement from the Diocese of Rockville Centre on behalf of Saint Mary’s High School indicated that one of their students is under investigation and that the school is cooperating with law enforcement.

The Great Neck School District also released a statement saying they do not tolerate cheating and are cooperating with law enforcement.

“It is our hope that the actions currently being taken by the District Attorney’s Office will serve to bring an end to any dishonest practices which may have placed students at an unfair disadvantage and will also bring to light any shortcomings in the security of the SAT testing system,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Ken Lavalle, chairman of the Higher Education Committee, which is investigating the SAT scandal, says new laws may include sanctions against parents.

“There are parents that are complicit in this. They are involved. You can’t tell me that students are walking around with $3,500, or $2,500, or $1,200. That’s a lot of money, and that means the parents were involved,” Sen. LaValle said.

LaValle, chairman of the Committee on Higher Education, initiated hearings into Long Island’s cheating scandal. On the cusp of Tuesday’s arrests, LaValle called on his Senate colleagues to, in his words, “light a fire” under every district attorney in the state to follow the lead of Nassau County and investigate their own high schools.

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said those students charged as misdemeanor juvenile offenders will not be identified, and the courtroom will be sealed when they are arraigned, CBS 2′s McLogan reports.

Law enforcement negotiated Tuesday’s surrender date with the lawyers for the students, keeping it close to their Thanksgiving breaks from colleges.

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