Premium Partners

HS Football Grading Scandal Opens District to Audit has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Commercial Appeal, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)


An audit of transcripts in the wake of a grading scandal at Trezevant High School involves all Shelby County Schools high schools, the Tennessee Department of Education confirmed Monday.

An independent firm is handling the audit, and the timeline "will depend on the scope of the work required," according to an email from the department. The district-wide audit was a "mutual" decision between SCS and the state, the email said.

SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said in an email on Saturday that Trezevant High had been under audit since November.

In a statement, SCS said Monday the district-wide audit is "proactive" and aimed "to ensure all student records were being handled properly."There was no evidence of grading discrepancies at schools other than Trezevant, the statement said.

Hopson posted a message on Twitter that the district "agreed to and welcomed" the outside review "back in November when this issue was first raised."

The district hired Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP, in February "to conduct a thorough review of our current record-keeping practices to protect the integrity of student records," according to the statement.

It's unclear whether the audit includes all or just some of last year's seniors, or if it extends to younger students or recent graduates.

"The state and SCS will get the results from that auditor at the same time, and we will make our determinations on next steps at that point," the state's email said. "We see our key support role as working with the district after the investigation is finished to ensure that appropriate actions are taken to minimize the risks of this happening again."

A principal new to Trezevant in August, Ronnie Mackin, uncovered discrepancies in students' transcripts in September. The district launched an investigation and notified the state education department. A clerical staff member, Shirley Quinn, was terminated. Football coach Teli White, who is now the coach at Melrose High, was also suspended five days for allegedly not cooperating with the investigation and possessing some of the altered transcripts on his computer.

Mackin on Thursday sent a letter of resignation to the district and school board, accusing SCS of trying to cover up the scandal because, he says, the person who was the impetus for the grade changes was not held responsible. He also said he fired White for poor behavior in front of the public on National Signing Day.

Mackin's six-page, single-spaced letter called the situation at Trezevant "dire" and accused district employees of "corrupt, illegal and unethical activities." He also paints a negative picture of how the school community reacted when he uncovered the grading scandal, including the vandalism of his car on National Signing Day.

The football team, which won the last two state football titles in Class 2A, had to forfeit a game in the middle of last season when the investigation launched.

Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association executive director Bernard Childress has since denied any athletes' transcripts were involved in the scandal.

Hopson refuted the idea that there was any kind of cover-up at Trezevant, noting the district has to have evidence to take action against an employee. Hopson also said Mackin's other allegations will each be investigated, and anyone with information is asked to come forward.

Reach Jennifer Pignolet at or on Twitter @JenPignolet.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

June 6, 2017


Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
AB Show 2022 in Orlando
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Learn More
AB Show
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide