The principal of Douglass High School has been suspended with pay as Oklahoma City Public Schools officials continue to investigate allegations of cheating and fraud.
Former students and staff members accused Brian Staples of fixing grades and hiding absences.
Deputy Superintendent Sandra Park announced his suspension Wednesday afternoon.
“A majority of the allegations were unfounded,” Park said. “However, we are continuing our investigation.”
A group of former teachers and students, along with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, first brought the allegations against Staples to the Oklahoma City School Board in June.
The district hired an independent attorney to investigate the claims, Park said.
“We take the results of this ongoing investigation seriously,” Park said.
A team of administrators will run Douglass High School during Staples’s suspension. Members of the team have not been announced.
Park declined to say which accusations panned out and which were false.
In documents given to the school board, former teachers and students accuse Staples of committing and allowing inappropriate behaviors at Douglass, 900 N Martin Luther King Ave. Here are some excerpts from affidavits from given to the board:
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.”
Earlier this month, officials confirmed complaints against Staples were filed with the U.S. Department of Education.
“The Office of Inspector General is aware of the allegations and we are reviewing it,” Public Affairs Liaison Catherine Grant said.
“That’s all we can say at this time.”