MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Another former Kingsbury High School teacher has come forward with claims of grade changing and harassment. Local 24 News talked to the teacher, who claims she was forced to change grades at Kingsbury High School.
The Shelby County School district has suspended Kingsbury High School principal, Dr. Terry Ross, with pay. He's also accused of harassing teachers.
Tuesday, the Shelby County School District called Kingsbury families letting them know about Ross's suspension while this investigation takes place. This all stems from a June school board meeting where a math teacher claimed she was being bullied to change grades.
"I was at the point where I was going to have a mental breakdown in that classroom," said the teacher who did not want to be identified out of fear of backlash. "He said I was giving too many zeros. I'm like, ‘well they are not showing up for class. They're not doing the work.’ And that was my fault."
The former teacher says she felt intimidated and the work environment was unprofessional.
"I remember getting a text after school was out at the end of the year, asking me if they could change some of my zeros to 65s for the exam," she said.
The former teacher's allegations come more than a month after former Kingsbury High School Math teacher Alesia Harris says she was forced to change grades.
"We've heard a lot of different allegations and given the nature of the allegations, we thought it would be best to get somebody from the outside to take a look at it," said Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson.
Superintendent Hopson says the investigation is looking at grade irregularities, but the focus is mainly on claims of workplace mistreatment.
"If they are true or if some or all of them are true, particularly some of the allegations regarding harassment and intimidation of employees, then we will deal with it swiftly," Superintendent Hopson said.
The educator Local 24 News spoke with says she is thankful something is being done.
"I'm glad, he doesn't need to be in that school," she said.
Local 24 News reached out to Dr. Ross about the investigation but have not heard back. Superintendent Hopson encourages anyone with relevant information to come forward. He stresses you will not face retaliation.
This is a transcript from SCS of a call that went out to parents:
“Hello Kingsbury families. This is Shelby County Schools calling with some important information. You may have seen a story on local news about Dr. Terry Ross. We wanted to make sure you heard directly from us and understand the facts of the situation. Due to recent allegations and reports we have placed Dr. Ross on administrative leave while this matter is further reviewed by an external firm. We regret that this is causing a distraction during the start of school. Please know our primary focus is to support students, families and staff at Kingsbury HS and help ensure a strong start to this school year. In the meantime, Vice-Principal Mr. Shenar Miller will serve as the interim principal. Mr. Miller is entering his 10th year at Kingsbury High School following five years of service as an educator in the state of Mississippi and we are confident he will ensure all instruction and operations continue to run smoothly. In addition, Mr. Holland one of our retired principals with more than 30 years of experience will be supporting our teachers and staff over the next few weeks. You can certainly count on both of them and the staff to help with anything you may need for your child. We will also be holding a student assembly on Thursday to keep our students informed, introduce Mr. Holland, answer any questions and set our commitments for the year. If there are any new updates to this situation, we will definitely make sure you are informed. As always, we appreciate your partnership and support. Have a good evening.”
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