The Principal at a North Jersey high school was among 10 staff members suspended Thursday after an audit revealed a reported 3,000 changes or discrepancies with grades and graduation credits.
As many as 300 students at Engelwood's Dwight Morrow High School, worried about how the issue will affect college applications and transcripts, walked out of class Friday in protest, with some demanding the superintendent's firing.
"I have worked my butt off at the school for four years," said senior Ruby Maury-Jyun. "I've been working nonstop and trying to balance everything."
Superintendent Robert Kravitz said he became aware of transcript irregularities when some students and parents complained their grades were different than expected after records were moved from one report card system to a newer one.
The administrator explained that it could have been innocent entry mistakes or just plain incompetence, something that an audit, just now getting underway, should explain.
Dwight Morrow Principal Peter Elbert, vice principal Joe Armental, director of school guidance Dr. Noel Gordon and a number of guidance counselors were among those suspended – another point of protest for students who need those counselors during this crucial college application time.
Senior Gamma Hammond says she missed the early admission deadline at Rutgers.
"I didn't want them to think that my grades were lower than they really are, because it's not my fault that they put in a weighing system that weighs my grades lower than they should be," she said.
Students unanimously agreed the counselors were not at fault. However, the superintendent defended the suspensions, saying he needs fresh eyes, including state specialists, to figure what went wrong going back several years.
Education officials say those suspended failed to make sure the grades were accurate after the district began using a new software.