Clayton high staff asked about grade changing involving athletes, officials confirm

Johnston County News

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — One thing was on Clayton High School junior Noelle Roberson’s mind while heading to watch Comet football Friday night.

​”Win, beat everybody,” Roberson said. “We need to show them that we’re still strong, even though all of this stuff is still going on.”​ 

​Friday, Johnston County Public Schools officials confirmed 13 students at the school “did not attain the minimum state graduation requirements in order to receive a high school diploma,” the district said in a news release.​

​State policy requires all North Carolina Public School students to get a minimum of 22 credits in order to be eligible to graduate and receive a diploma.

Johnston County Public Schools requires 28 credits for graduation, the release states.​​

“Based on a review of all available data, these students did not meet either requirement,” officials said.​​

The district is in the process of contacting each student involved “and will provide resources to assist them in resolving the requirements needed.”

​​”I regret this situation with these students and assure them that Johnston County Public Schools will do all that we can to provide them every opportunity to meet these graduation requirements,” said Superintendent Dr. Jim Causby.​​

District officials are now reviewing previous graduation data at the school to see if any other students were allowed to graduate without meeting the requirements.​​

This comes after recent news surrounding the school, including the resignation of head football coach Hunter Jenks and re-assignment of principal Dr. Bennett Jones.

​​”Morale here is really low since everything that’s come out really,” Roberson said. “We just need something to boost school morale.”​ ​

The district Friday also confirmed with CBS 17 their human resources department sent an anonymous survey to Clayton High School staff members asking if they were aware of any final course grade changes without the teacher being consulted, and if so, were they for student-athletes.​ ​

Parents and players say the football program came under investigation earlier this year, after accusations of grade-fixing. ​​

“That, to me, is the witch hunt,” Clayton High School parent Cathy Scott said. ​ ​Scott learned Friday about the news surrounding recent graduates.​​

“I want every single high school in Johnston County to go through the same scrutiny that Clayton High School was just put through,” she said. ​ ​

For Scott, she wants one thing.

​​”I just want peace for my child and for the kids at this school, for the parents, the teachers and all of the staff,” she said. ​​

CBS 17 also asked district officials about the survey, and any results, but officials said they’re unable to provide any additional information at this time. ​

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