Hillhouse students followed the media coverage of the grade tampering scandal. Read more about it here. Two students respond to the allegations below:
I Know Mr. Carolina And He’s Not That Kind of Guy
By JeVaughn Moore
Hillhouse senior, quarterback for the football team
In the article from the New Haven Independent, “Report: Hillhouse Has Rule-Bending ‘Culture’”, Hillhouse’s name is further tarnished. There
are allegations that people of high power in the school are changing the grades of student-athletes so that they may reach the standards of the NCAA Clearinghouse. People outside of Hillhouse may think that we’re this school that allows student-athletes to cheat their way through high school. This will leave a mark on the future of Hillhouse, making people think twice about enrolling their children in this institution of learning.
For those that may not know the people involved in this scandal personally– Principal Kermit Carolina and football Head Coach Thomas Dyer – neither is the type of person to do what is alleged of them. Having Mr. Carolina as a principal and Mr. Dyer as a coach, I have always known them as being the main ones to push others to do their work and to stay focused on their studies. They used to give us speeches in our study halls – which were mandatory for all student-athletes. They were very serious about our academic growth and they wouldn’t just let us slide away from our requirements. That’s not in their morals.
Mr. Carolina could have handled the situation in a different way. He made himself look unprofessional. However, I know both him and Coach Dyer personally and I can tell you that they would never do such a thing as cheat for a student.
Scandal is a shame, no matter who’s at fault
It used to be safe to say that you got the grade you earned. But now you wonder who the students who really earned their grades are. This grade tampering scandal has put the spotlight on James Hillhouse High School, though not a spotlight that we should be proud of. This not only affects the students involved, but any student who attends the school. Students will face being looked at differently.
Principal Carolina’s alleged involvement in the grade tampering may in fact be true. Being a former basketball coach and becoming principal,
he has always shined a light on sports and on athletes. So why wouldn’t he allow such a thing to happen? Why wouldn’t he bend the rules for his star athletes? I can’t attest that he did, but I can’t say that he didn’t either. The evidence is strong enough to show that something was done and what was done is unfair to all students at James Hillhouse. It’s unfair to the students who stay up late to make sure that their assignments are done so they can earn the grade that they were working for.
The situation should have been handled in a way in which the investigation could be done quietly. There is now a very public fight between Principal Carolina and Dr. Mayo, the Superintendent of schools, and Mayor DeStefano. What does this mean when you have people on the Board of Education fighting against one of their own schools?
Mr. Carolina claims to have done nothing wrong but evidence shows otherwise. Even if he didn’t have anything to do with changing the grades, he is the principal of a school and he should know everything that’s going on in his school. He claimed to not have been properly trained when becoming principal, but he took the job so he had to step up to the plate. He has to take responsibility for what has happened. He should own up to the mistake he made as a principal or soon he will lose support.
The focus should be on the school and the students, making sure that students are receiving equal opportunities. The best way for this to be over is by accepting the consequences. It’s best for the students and it’s best for the school. We should be able to move on from the situation and no student deserves to be punished. It is not the students’ fault, but the adults, and someone needs to be held responsible and that is the leader of the school.