School superintendent responds by tweet to alleged ‘grade-fixing’ at Kingsbury

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County School district is not answering our questions about children's grades.

A Kingsbury High teacher told WREG they got an email from the assistant principal asking them to fill in missing grades. It goes on to say there's a grade floor at the school and teachers can't issue anything below a 65. If they have, "to correct that also."

"They have been talking about it today, some teachers," said one student who asked to remain anonymous.

The student told us what he heard.

"They were saying they were supposed to do it, and people are saying that's not fair already," he told WREG.

WREG repeatedly asked the school district about the email since Wednesday morning. All they've said is they learned about it Wednesday and are trying to get a better understanding.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson fired off a series of comments on Twitter Wednesday evening stating, "No 'grade fixing' at Kingsbury. Some schools set a floor and encourage kids to do makeup work so they have chance to pass their class."

He also wrote, "If student gets a couple of zeroes with no hope to pass, student more likely to give up, have no hope and drop out."

"School leaders always look for ways to support students by giving them opportunities to make up or catch up look forward to discussing facts."

WREG also reached out to every school board member. We heard back from three.

Kevin Woods said he was unable to contact the chair.

Stephanie Love said she was unavailable to talk, but knows the district is investigating.

"I do not remember seeing any policy that allows that," board member Mike Kernell said by email.

He continued, "Thank you for bringing this to light so that it can be part of the community discussion and the board discussion!"

The teacher who sent us the email was too afraid to go on camera, but expressed concern saying this means teachers have to give a student a 65 even if that student didn't show up to class.

"It wouldn't be right. Everybody has to be on time and come in every day. We all have to follow the same rules," said parent Brentley Jones.

Parents hope to get clarification, and so does the Memphis-Shelby County Education Association.

"Principals do not have the right to establish these floor ceiling grades. They certainly do not have the rights to put teachers in these troublesome situations," said Executive Director Keith Williams.

WREG will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest.