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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

SAT Booklet conned from Waltham High

Published: September 21, 2012
Section: News

“Waltham High School students and faculty are left struggling to figure out how a school security breach led to the theft of an SAT test booklet,” according to the Waltham Patch.

At a Waltham citywide school board and PTO meeting on Sept. 12, Waltham Public Schools Superintendent Susan Nicholson announced that a man broke into the high school in May and stole the SAT test booklet that was to be used for the June 2 test date.

According to the sign-in sheet at the front of the school, the man entered at 2:30 p.m. on May 31 and went directly to the guidance counselors’ office. There he posed as an employee of Educational Testing Service (ETS), the company that makes the SAT tests, showed his ID to an administrator who photocopied it, and asked to check something inside the safe, eventually leaving with the test booklet.

The man was seen at Waltham High School the night before the theft, as well. The Waltham police believe that he was testing security and possible ways to breach the school’s security systems.

“No one noticed that he was able to hide [the test booklet] on his person. He did leave the guidance office, as far as we could tell, with one copy of the test booklet,” Nicholson told The Patch.

The incident was immediately reported to Waltham police, who upon investigation, discovered that the man was carrying a fake license and phone number. Though the police would not release his identity, he was identified by school administrators, and they believe that it is the same man who was responsible for a similar theft in Newton three years ago.

Nicholson said that the school is learning from the event and school security will be tighter and significantly “more vigilant” in the future. Front desk staff will check the identification of unrecognized visitors, and they will be required to give the office a reason for visiting.

In other cases, stolen SAT test booklets have been replaced immediately in order to prevent possible cheating. The June 2 exam, however, went on as planned, using the same test booklet.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed sources to a Waltham News Tribune article. The sources are from The Waltham Patch.