Only on 12: 5 Warren County teachers fired for changing students' grades; students protest, claiming charges false

By: Jonathan Martin
By: Jonathan Martin

Scandal in a local school.

Five teachers stand accused of giving students grades they didn't deserve.

The events at Warren County High School have cost those five teachers their jobs, and could cost some students their Hope scholarships.

News 12's Jonathan Martin was the only Augusta reporter on hand to cover the story today as students protested, claiming the teachers did nothing wrong.

A lot of people on both sides are upset in the wake of the scandal.

Many are questioning why the teachers would do such a thing, and if they are guilty, why they are being allowed to finish the school year.

These students say they just want to know why three of their teachers are now on a leave of absence.

"They can't explain to use what's going on, what they tell us, we ask them questions, they can't explain our questions," says senior Rekeisha Allen.

Thursday was no typical day at Warren County High School. Students were protesting in the hallway and outside of the school.

"We feel that the way the teachers are being treated is unfair and it's wrong," says senior Shalanda Scism.

The protests are in response to an article in today's local paper, the Warrenton Clipper. In the article, Superintendent of Schools Carole Jean Carey says she found numerous cases of teachers falsifying grades.

"We know we earned our grades fairly. They don't give us no kind of help," Shalanda says.

Superintendent Carey says when one teacher told her he was being pressured by another teacher to change grades, she conducted an investigation...which she says showed that for the past two years, five teachers at the high school repeatedly gave students grades they didn't deserve.

"There were some cases where, many cases where the grade reported was not the grade earned," says Carey.

Three of those five still teach at the school, and that's why Carey says she was required by law to report her findings to the Professional Standards Commission.

"Three teachers' certificates were suspended by the Professional Standards Commission, so when your certificates are suspended, you can't be employed by the school system."

And while it's the Warren County School Board who voted to allow the teachers to take a 10-day leave of absence and then return to finish out the year, the superintendent says she's become the target of the student's angers.

"These are teachers that have been here for a while--some of the students really like these teachers, they're some of their favorites--and they have to have somebody, so I'm the target," she says.

The superintendent says the parents of students who received grades they shouldn't have will be receiving a letter in the mail informing them of the grade their child actually earned.

That could affect graduation and Hope scholarships for many of those students.

As for those teachers, all three have turned in letters of resignation as a result of this investigation.

However, the principal says they are allowed to come back to finish out the school year.

The superintendent says this has gone on for two years. She says there's nothing that can be done about those students who have already graduated.

The school principal, Roger Williams, says he believes the teachers actually got off very light for something this serious.

He also says he believes the investigation was done fairly, but he still respects the students' right to protest.

"Let's just be glad that this is America and you can exercise that right to protest in any legal or legitimate way that suits your purpose," Williams says.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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