Princeton seniors punished in grade switching scandal; parents upset

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Nearly a week before graduation, 19-year-old Khalil Cousett has been told he's not walking with his senior class.
"They're telling me I can't walk, and I'm trying to figure out why," Cousett said.
It all started last Friday when a group of Princeton High School seniors  somehow found the teacher's override password to their online course, Nova Net, then they went in and started changing test scores to 100 percents -- including Cousett's grades.
"We've got 11 students in all, several of which actually went in a physically altered grades, including for themselves and other students," said Princeton Schools spokesman Tom O'Neill.
Cousett claims he had no idea the grade changing was going on behind his back.
"I didn't even know that happened, I thought, okay my work's done, I can graduate," Cousett said.
But, the district isn't buying it.
"On Friday he was aware that he had dozens and dozens of grades for which he knew he didn't do that work," O'Neill said.
The district says under their Academic Dishonesty Policy, students who's grades were changed are guilty by association.
"Had he come to us initially and said, 'I don't know how my grades have reflected this because I know I didn't complete this work, that wouldn't have been an issue, he'd be walking in graduation," O'Neill said.
O'Neill said students had more than enough time to come forward, before they began their three day investigation into what happened the following Tuesday
Students had until May 18 to complete their work in order to graduate but since the 11 students didn't earn the grades, they're not valid, now they have until June 2 to complete the work on their own. They'll still be able to graduate,  but still can't walk in the ceremony, still, Cousett's mother says her son wasn't in the wrong.
"Princeton's not hearing it, they're saying that they're all going to pay and I just don't think it's fair," said Khalil's mother, Theresa Cousett.
The district is still investigating how the students retrieved the teacher's password.

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