BATTERY PARK CITY — The student at the center of a Stuyvesant High School cheating ring helped close to 100 students cheat on last month's Regents exams, according to a report.
But according to the teen's dad, he only cheated because he was stressed in his personal life, the New York Post says.
According to Najmul Ahsan, his son Nayeem Ahsan cheated because of a recent cancer scare and because he was robbed at an Astoria train station last month. He fell behind in his class work, the older Ahsan told the paper.
"There is a reason he did this. So while I don't agree with what he did, I have an understanding why he did it," the 56-year-old told the paper. "As a father, I support my son."
He also implied that his son was the recipient of the texted photos of answers, not the provider, despite being a good student.
"As brilliant as my son is, this wan't the a very smart thing for him to do," he told the paper. "This is a very unfortunate thing to have happened."
But students and teachers told the paper that the 16-year-old Ahsan was the ringleader.
"This kid prided himself on doing this sort of thing. He's been doing it for a long time," 16-year-old junior Catalina Piccato told the paper. "He's been lamenting being caught on Facebook."
The younger Ahsan was caught texting the answers on June 18 while taking the Spanish Regents exam. Principal Stanley Teitel went through the teen's text messages and found answers to three other tests.
The junior is being forced to transfer to another school, the Post reports.
"As principal, I find this very disturbing," Teitel said in a letter to parents, obtained by the Post. "I find this breach of integrity very serious and hope you will talk with your child about the need to remain honest and preserve their academic goals at Stuyvesant and beyond."