Suspended students speak out on Cy-Fair ISD cheating scheme

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Several Cypress Falls High School kids stayed home today after getting suspended for what the school district says was cheating.

But some of those kids tell Eyewitness News they were indiscriminately punished for something that shouldn't have been seen as cheating.

The three female students from Cypress Falls High School spoke with us anonymously.

One student said, "Honestly, I started crying when they told me I was going to be suspended for three days because I've never been in trouble in my life."

Another student said of the situation, "A lot of frustration. We had heard that this was OK. We didn't see it as in, 'Oh we're cheating, we're cheating'."

The girls are among more than 200 kids who were a part of an AP US History Facebook group that posted class notes and take-home quizzes. The intent was to help anyone who needed it on their homework.

"We help each other study," one student said. "We help each other get the notes and all the terms defined for each other, so we'd have stuff to study for our take-home quizzes."

They say their teacher encouraged them to work together.

But when a student posted a district-wide exam to a separate Honors Physics Facebook page, a teacher found out, and both pages were shut down.

Now, they say around 20 kids have been suspended, selected because they were active users on either page.

The girls Eyewitness News spoke to are upset because they feel like they're being unjustly punished when they had nothing to do with posting the district-wide test.

One student said, "They figured everyone had seen it, and everyone has equal part in it, when we had just been doing homework as opposed to one student who decided to put the test on there."

The juniors say the district has indiscriminately suspended kids, without checking if their contribution to the page actually constitutes cheating.

"That's not fair," one student said. "We get suspension and we're good kids! We've never done anything, and we like going to school and we work hard."

The Cy-Fair School District has said the students responsible for the posts have been disciplined. Eyewitness News asked them to respond to these kids' claims, but the district said they have nothing more to say.

So what happens to these kids now?

They'll have to wait until after their school break to take their final. Some students have been kicked out of Honor Society, as well as their extracurricular activities.
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