Principal At Douglass High School In OKC Placed On Paid Leave
OKLAHOMA CITY - The principal at Douglass High school is placed on administrative leave with pay.
Principal Brian Staples was placed on leave Wednesday following accusations that he tampered with grades and altered attendance records so students would be eligible to play sports.
In a lawsuit filed in 2010, some teachers claim they were fired after refusing to manipulate student records. Their complaints prompted an investigation by the Oklahoma City School District. Complaints have also led to a criminal investigation by the United State Department of Education.
Several witnesses came forward and said they saw Staples make illegal grade changes and alter attendance records for athletes at Douglass. During the principal's tenure, Douglass High School has won at least five state championships.
If proven true, it would be a violation of eligibility rules set forth by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association. Ineligible students could result in forfeiture of the championship title.
This isn't the first time Staples has been surrounded by controversy. In March of 2010, he was attacked with a club by three men. Court papers show the beating may have been part of a personal vendetta by one of the alleged attackers.
Staples will remain on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
OKCPS released this statement Wednesday regarding the investigation of Principal Staples:
"As the result of an extensive investigation conducted by an independent attorney hired by the district, Dr. Brian Staples, principal of Douglass High School has been placed on administrative leave with pay.
The investigation began in June 2012 as a result of allegations presented to the Board of Education by the NAACP. We take the results of this ongoing investigation seriously.
A majority of the allegations were unfounded. However we are continuing our investigation of the remaining allegations.
We are taking immediate, proactive steps to ensure the students and staff at Douglass have a positive and stable learning environment. We are assembling an administrative team that will provide ongoing, onsite leadership to support the existing administrative leadership team in the interim," Sandra Park, OKCPS Deputy Superintendent.