Lee High School Teachers Say Admin. Did Not Change Grades


By Jessica Gertler

From Montgomery -- Lee High School teachers and students are rallying behind their principal and other administrators who were placed on leave after a state and local investigation said they changed grades for hundreds of students.

Lee High School teachers are letting their voices be heard.

"We are out here to support Lorenza Pharrams, Dr. Jacob Holloway and Dr. Janet Reese," says teacher Michelle Summers. "It has been alleged that they have changed grades, and we recognize that these are false allegations."

Last week, the state investigation concluded that seven faculty members from three high schools were involved in changing 200 grades. They have been placed on paid leave until further notice.

But teachers took the day off and roughed the weather all to let parents and community members know that their administrators are innocent.

The group passed out petitions and collected more than a thousand signatures from community members, and 1,200 from students.

"We are standing up for this man," says teacher  Leroy Barrow. "Not because we like him, but because we know his character and because we know what he stands for."

And when school let out, hundreds of students ran across the street to join the efforts.

"During lunch, kids were screaming bring back Mr. Pharrams," says student Preston Reese. "There was a lock-down."

"When I heard he was on leave, I was sad, because I wanted to shake his hand at graduation. Not anyone else's," says student Earnest Carter.

Both teachers and students say they will continue to speak up until they get answers.

"There is no fear in us. The superintendent owes us an apology and owes us answers," says Summers.

Teachers say they have only heard from Superintendent Barbara Thompson once and that was after the investigation concluded. They say not once any school board members stopped by to speak with them.

We have put in a call to central office, but a Montgomery Public Schools spokesperson says they were unaware of the rally.

School officials have not confirmed the names of the seven administrators placed on leave, because of legal reasons.