Majority Of Douglass High School Students May Not Graduate

Thursday, November 29th 2012, 3:00 pm
By: News 9

An audit of Douglass High School in Oklahoma City has revealed 87 of the school's 107 seniors do not have enough credits to graduate next spring.

Cheating allegations at the school forced former principal Brian Staples to resign in October. The Oklahoma City Public School District asked the state department of education to investigate the academic situation at the school. That's when the audit discovered the disturbing news about the senior classes of both 2013 and 2014.

11/13/2012 Related Story: Investigation Into Douglass Principal's Cheating Allegations Is Costly

10/24/2012 Related Story: Douglass Principal Resigns Following Investigation Into Allegations

The district and the school have developed plans to help students meet graduation requirements.

"The findings are disappointing, but we have a plan in place and we will do what it takes to support each student," interim principal Barbara Davis said.

The plans include shifting the school's master schedule, offering Saturday and night classes, as well as offering additional instruction during the winter and spring terms. District spokesperson Tierney Tinnin also said, if necessary, students may attend summer school, followed by a summer graduation.

An academic consultant said for the plan to work, students and parents must fully support it.

"This plan will work, but it must include the commitment of parents, hard work from students and support from the community to make it happen," said Joyce Henderson, Douglass High School academic consultant. "I promise you everyone at Douglass is stepping up and is focused on making certain that our students are successful and equipped to carry on the proud legacy of this school."

State Superintendent of Education Janet Barresi is encouraging parents to attend a meeting to discuss the situation. She'll be there to address concerns and answer questions. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 10 at 6 p.m. It will be held at Metro Technology Center, 1900 Springlake Drive in Oklahoma City.

In a letter, Barresi said they want to address the issue immediately and move forward as quickly as possible.

"I am already working to bring together educational leaders throughout the community to help address these issues, but time is of the essence. We simply cannot let a new semester begin without having a plan for action. This will take all of us working together so these children will be able to earn their high school diplomas in timely manner."

Read Janet Barresi's full letter to parents

10/4/2012 Related Story: New Info Comes To Light In Alleged Douglass High Grades Tampering Case