Principal meets with super over allegations of grade tampering - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Principal meets with super over allegations of grade tampering

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A high school principal in New Haven is meeting with the superintendent of schools to determine if he will face any punishment for possible grade tampering.

A lengthy report states that last fall, assistant principal Shirley Love Joyner made allegations of grade tampering by James Hillhouse High School principal Kermit Carolina.

The accusations involve Carolina awarding student athletes with poor attendance two times as many credits, which upgraded failing grades to passing. And in one case, completely erasing an "F" from the system.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo said the moves were made to keep those student athletes on the roster so they could be recruited by colleges.

Carolina spoke to the media on Thursday, which is one day before his mandatory meeting with  Mayo. Carolina has requested several school communications and emails for the meeting. 

"I am calling on the intelligent minds in this community to look critically at this report," Carolina said Thursday.

He added that his attorney has reviewed the case and found the claims to be "unsubstantiated."

In a statement, the New Haven schools said that Mayo appointed Carolina as assistant principal and later on as a principal while "supporting him every step of the way."

"Dr. Mayo intends to sit down with Kermit to hear what he has to say before deciding on appropriate action to take," the statement said.

Carolina said that allegations were brought by the mayor's office after Carolina did not endorse him for reelection. He added that an attorney for the mayor prepared the report.

"The deck was stacked against me at the very beginning," Carolina said. "We are looking for an impartial audience, in particular the NAACP. If we have to go to the state or federal level, I don't care where we have to go."

New Haven Schools said in a statement that Carolina and his attorney are trying "to distract from the real issue here - grade and credit tampering at Hillhouse."

"Serious allegations were made by a member of Kermit Carolina's own staff and were substantiated by a substantial amount of evidence," the statement said. "The report stands for itself. Once again the real victim is not Kermit Carolina. It's the students he let down."

Carolina said there is no policy in place that states what was done is against school rules.

Following the meeting, the school and Carolina are expected to comment.

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