NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Monday that dozens of students at the prestigious Stuyvesant High School will be retaking their regents exam following a cheating scandal.

The student at the center of the cheating – identified 16-year-old Nayeem Ahsan – allegedly took photos with his cell phone of test questions and answers and texted them to his classmates. He faces suspension.

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The exam’s proctor reportedly found screenshots of the answers to the Spanish, physics and English exams and evidence that dozens of classmates had received them.

All students involved will be banned from student groups and will have certain privileges taken away, including having lunch off campus.

An online petition was formed to support Ahsan. The petition sought to get Ahsan reinstated at the school – it claimed he was expelled for taking and sharing the photos. Those signing the petition online suggested the decision to punish Ahsan was too harsh.

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Speaking on a radio show this morning, Walcott defended Ahsan’s suspension.

“People don’t understand why he was being picked on. He cheated. We have a discipline code to address that,” Walcott said.

Students retaking the exam are expected to do so as soon as August.

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