desks school stock classroom

Advocate file photo of school desks.

I think what happened at John F. Kennedy High is simply opprobrious. Now, clearly, there will be more ammunition to the rumors that Orleans Parish Schools simply do not produce high school graduates who are academically adept. Please allow me to briefly expound.

Without a doubt, there is a tremendous amount of pressure on all parties to succeed. For example, students have to pass tests (LEAP) that prove they have mastered the subject matter; moreover, teachers have to teach the subject matter and also teach students how to pass the dreaded exams. Principals are the overseers. This is a reality. This is the setting of schools in the 21st century. It is a pressure cooker for all who are involved.

The staff members who forged those academic records should be punished. Clearly, it was wrong. It sent the wrong message to the students. The staff cheated the students and sold themselves short. What were they trying to do? Would it really have been so bad if some of the students would have to go to school a little longer? The staff's academic handout was the wrong thing to do. It compromised the academic integrity of both the students and the staff. I would contend that these acts were the norm at Kennedy High. Only now it is public knowledge.

The staff at Kennedy High, along with the students, must cultivate a culture of academic honesty and create an environment that makes learning exciting. Remember: anything worth striving for is worth having. Let the school doors open again. This is a new day.

Tmoura Gardener

freelance writer

New Orleans