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Oklahoma City superintendent confirms federal investigation of Douglass Mid-High School

Oklahoma City superintendent Karl Springer confirmed an investigation of allegations by former Douglass Mid-High School students and teachers that administrators changed grades and forged attendance records.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: October 4, 2012 at 9:55 am •  Published: October 3, 2012

The U.S. Department of Education has started its own investigation into Douglass Mid-High School, where former students and teachers allege administrators changed grades and forged attendance records.

Oklahoma City Public Schools has been conducting a parallel investigation for months.

“The district investigation is ongoing,” Superintendent Karl Springer said in a statement. “We are fully cooperating with the United States Department of Education.”

A complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education, a school district spokeswoman confirmed. However, a federal education spokesman could not immediately provide information about that complaint.

Recently, a group of former teachers and students handed over affidavits about Douglass Mid-High School to the school board. In the documents, they claim cheating was rampant in the school, and most point the finger at Principal Brian Staples. Here are excerpts from those papers:

• Former social studies teacher Cory Tye: “I was instructed by Brian Staples and his staff to not give out homework and make copies of the chapter because students didn't need to do homework. ... I was instructed by Dr. Staples to pass all students no matter what.”

• Kanda Barnes, a 2011 graduate: “During the school term 2010-2011, both fall and spring, I did not have a 12th grade English class. This class is a requirement for graduation. Dr. Brian Staples gave me a C both semesters for my 12th grade English class. Dr. Brian Staples suggested a student to take my Algebra class online for me. This was a difficult class for me. The Assistant Principal Ms. Cox called her into her office. I paid her $100 and $150 more after completion. My freshman math grades had been switched previous from two F's to two C's by Dr. Staples. ... ”

• Former teacher Annita Lewis: “I have documentation showing, per semester, students with excessive absence and tardies which had a significantly negative impact on that student's grade. However, the student's grade does not reflect this information within the Douglass grade system.”

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