Alumni, Teachers Take Aim At Principal For Alleged Cheating Scandal
OKLAHOMA CITY - Outrage continues to mount against a metro high school principal as the Oklahoma City public school district begins investigating serious allegations against him.
Former teachers and students claim Douglass Mid-High principal Brian Staples was cheating his way to the top in order to rank better in the district.
The allegations include falsifying attendance records, altering students' grades, and creating racial tensions. The alleged actions are so severe that graduates of Douglass say it is difficult for them to get ahead.
Douglass graduate Tiffany Thompson showed off awards she received during her high school career Thursday. Among her awards was her salutatorian sash. On paper, Thompson was an all-star student. But, once she started classes at the University of Central Oklahoma, she received a rude awakening.
"[My professor] said this is fifth grade," Thompson said. "Immediately, tears started rolling from my eyes because of the embarrassment."
Thompson says her professor told her that her writing was at the level of an elementary school student. That's right, the salutatorian was writing at a fifth grade level. That's when Thompson said she realized Douglass High was simply pushing her and others across the graduation stage with little hope for success.
"It's more money," school protester Carlos Robinson said. "The more people we get through the system…the more money the administration receives."
Throughout the week, protesters have gathered outside Douglass at 900 N. Martin Luther King Ave. in Oklahoma City. They are demanding Staples be suspended pending the outcome of an investigation. Oklahoma City Public Schools is currently investigating claims that Staples altered students' grades and falsified attendance records.
"[The administration is] not giving [the students] a chance to get an equal education," Thompson said.
In 2010, a group of teachers filed a lawsuit against Staples and the school district. Those teachers say Staples fired them for showing resistance to his attempts of hiding failing students.
"If the allegations come out to be true, [Staples] has to go," Thompson said.
Protesters say they plan to be back at the school as long as it takes to find justice. News 9 tried contacting Staples, but our calls were not returned.