Senior tip provokes threats

At the assembly Feb. 26 to announce what was to happen to the students who stole and distributed the World and Europe II and Spanish III midterms, Edward ’08* wanted to get up and speak.

“I don’t think it would have been the best idea,” Edward said. “But I wanted to quell a lot of rumors and say it shouldn’t have had to be me.”

Edward was the senior who told a history teacher about the cheating, which led to further investigation of sophomores. He first heard about the incident when a sophomore friend called him up, telling him that she had been offered a stolen copy of the World and Europe II exam. Edward advised her not to take the test and to tell a teacher. He said when he saw her after semester break, she told him she had told her teacher.

“I could just tell that she was lying to me,” Edward said. So Edward took it upon himself to tell her teacher.

The history teacher told him that they were already suspicious and had started to bring people in.
“I didn’t even think twice about going to see the teacher because it is a really serious issue,” Edward said. “Maybe I would have been more hesitant if it were my close friends.”

When the Honor Board began hearing cases, the students involved heard Edward’s name. Some involved approached Edward in the quad in front of several witnesses, including Honor Board members, telling Edward that students were going to commit suicide and run away because of what he did. They told him he “was ruining everybody’s life” and should have “kept [his] mouth shut.”

“It proved that the kids who were trying to show remorse for what they did didn’t have any remorse,” Edward said. He was then called into the Honor Board to say who had approached him, he said. Edward said he received nine death threats on the Internet and lost friends, including the girl who had asked for his advice when offered the test.

When the incident became an issue in the local news media, Edward said he was upset that it was implied that his tip was the reason they began bringing people in. He said that when the Los Angeles Times article came out students who accused him of purposefully indicting students used it as “evidence.”

While some students were accusatory, Edward said teachers praised him.

“I don’t consider it an act of bravery because it didn’t really take much to turn them in,” Edward said. “I don’t think I should be considered a hero.”

Edward doesn’t blame the entire sophomore class though he thinks a sophomore should have stepped forward.

“I don’t look at the sophomore class as a class of deviants,” he said. “You can’t do that, it doesn’t accomplish anything.”

*Name withheld upon request