Several teachers and even the president of a school known as the “Harvard of mortuary schools” are implicated in a cheating scandal.
The New York State Department of Health sued seven officials, including the president, of the American Academy McAllister Institute, a prestigious Manhattan mortician school, reported Fox News on Sunday.
The department alleges AAMI president and CEO Mary Margaret Dunn, along with six other teachers, took part in a “widespread conspiracy” to illicitly help students pass a national board exam, according to an investigation into the school that started five years ago. Ninety-two percent of AAMI graduates passed the exam’s science section in 2013, compared with 76 percent of graduates from other mortician schools.
The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards has nullified exam grades of 300 AAMI graduates. Nearly 100 New York morticians must successfully retake the exam by June 30, get an extension by the end of 2018, or forsake their license.
But AAMI has its mortuary industry defenders, who assert that a potential staffing shortage abetted by a recall in New York morticians would strain individuals seeking funerals for loved ones.
“The industry is already short-staffed by 30 percent,” Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association executive director Robert Ruggiero told The New York Post, calling the investigation a “witch hunt.” “This action will only compound the problem. There is limited number of funeral directors already straining to accommodate the public caseload.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to AAMI for comment but received none in time for press.
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