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Article updated: 12/9/2012 6:44 AM

Officials investigate possible cheating at Naperville Central

By Melissa Silverberg

Naperville Central High School officials are investigating cheating allegations involving a new technology program that allows students to use their cellphones and tablets in the classroom.

Naperville Central Principal Bill Wiesbrook sent a letter to parents on Friday acknowledging the cheating, but he did not say how many students were involved or in what classes.

"Concerns about student cheating at Naperville Central were recently brought to the attention of school staff by other students. We commend these students for taking the appropriate action when they observed behavior that was frustrating and wrong," Wiesbrook wrote.

According to the student newspaper Central Times, cheating was reported in an advanced placement class that is using the "Bring Your Own Device" pilot program. An investigation resulted in "findings of academic dishonesty," according to the student newspaper.

The Bring Your Own Device program allows students to use their cellphones or other electronic devices to supplement classroom activities.

The principal's statement, however, did not blame the cheating on the new technology program.

"Schools, teachers, and students have always faced the issue of cheating. The tools may have changed through the years, but unfortunately the behavior still exists," he wrote.

Susan Rice, director of communication for District 203, did not respond to calls for comment on Saturday but passed along Wiesbrook's statement.

"Academic integrity is critical to the culture of any school, and one of the core values of NCHS and our district. When this is brought into question, we will act to preserve and reinforce this value with our students and our staff," the statement continued.

"As a principal, I would rather have a student who earns a grade of "C" honestly than a student who receives a grade of "A" through dishonest behavior."

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