Cheating scandal uncovered at local school

Created: 01/09/2014 10:44 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Teachers at Miyamura High School in Gallup call it a massive cheating scandal.

Principal John Overheim said they offer an online course to students who failed a subject.

Two teachers said they found grades they never gave.

“We found that there were up to 200 bypasses or grade changes to that student account, which is highly irregular, said Overheim. He said out of nearly 200 students, they caught irregular grade changes for 31.     

The school is blaming a student who officials said looked over the shoulder of a teacher and got the password to the grade book. 

“When you have that password it gives you access to any student allowed in those courses,” he said.

Overheim said the culprit changed grades in exchange for $20 or lunch but 20 students still ended up failing because they refused to pay up.

One student was expelled. Sherina Sam, a senior and single mom, said that student is her.  

Sam claims she was thrown under the bus by other students also taking advantage of the password.

“After what happened people just stopped liking me so they ended up going through the principal telling this and that,” she said.

She said she used the password to change grades but claims she only took donations.

“Some of them even offered to pay me,” she said, “I never said pay me this much or that much.”

She said when she tried to stop the grade changing even more students started pointing their finger at her.

“I wasn't thinking about the consequences- basically I wasn’t thinking at all,” she explained.

The school administrators say other students used the password but Sam got the brunt of the punishment because she was the mastermind.

“The other students got a slap on the wrist,” she said. “The only thing I can do is online high school or a GED, which is the last thing I wanted to do but I really have no choice.”

When asked if it was worth it Sam replied, “No, not at all.”

The Gallup Mckinley County Schools will be looking into a new academic fraud policy to be implemented as early as next year. 

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