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A Standoff In Grade Probe

by Paul Bass | Dec 28, 2011 12:24 pm

(38) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Schools, School Reform

The investigation into alleged grade-altering at Hillhouse hit a snag as the high school’s principal and the Board of Ed’s investigator failed to agree on terms for an interview.

Floyd Dugas, an attorney hired by the Board of Education to look into an administrator’s allegations of up to three instances of grade-changing, asked Principal Kermit Carolina to sit down for an interview.

Carolina’s legal advisor, attorney Michael Jefferson, responded that Carolina would do so only if reporters could be present.

Jefferson told the Independent that his response grew out of a desire for transparency in the process. Carolina has argued that the Board of Ed is railroading him out of a political vendetta on the part of Mayor John DeStefano based on “bogus” allegations raised by an administrator he was disciplining. DeStefano said politics have played no part in a straightforward probe into serious allegations. (Click here for a full story on that subject.)

“Why doesn’t he have a right to have this investigation done publicly?” Jefferson said. “I want the media there. We don’t have anything to hide. Why do they?”

He also said Dugas threatened that Carolina would be charged with “insubordination” if he didn’t submit to the private interview.

Dugas called the request “unheard of, highly unusual, and not the way I conduct investigations.”

“Any school employee can be ordered to participate” in an investigation, Dugas said. “The refusal to do so can be construed as insubordination. I sincerely hope we don’t have to go down that road. I hope [Jefferson’s] client reconsiders his decision.”

Only one of the three allegations raised at Hillhouse has been made public. They concern a student who took summer courses at Riverside Academy. Carolina said that the school system’s computer system—notorious for having trouble registering information like grades transferred from other schools—was having trouble reconciling the course codes from Riverside and Hillhouse. All that happened was that the transcript was eventually updated to include the student’s summer courses, Carolina said.

The allegations prompted an unprecedented “emergency” Board of Ed meeting on 24 hours and 52 minutes’ notice the Friday night before Christmas.

2 Suspended

Meanwhile, in an unrelated case, the school system has suspended two Hillhouse administrators following a complaint made to the state Department of Children and Families (DCF).

The two staffers worked as part of a new team of “deans” and other adults brought into Hillhouse to try prevent kids from dropping out. (Read about that effort here.)

The complaint came several weekends ago, according to school system Chief Operating Officer Will Clark.

A mother contacted Principal Carolina about a fight involving her son and another boy and the role of the two adults who were present.

“Kermit followed the appropriate protocol. He immediately referred it to DCF and immediately referred it to the [school board’s human resources] department,” Clark said. “The folks were immediately put out on leave so they wouldn’t have to come back to the school.”

One of the adults involved is a unionized full-time staffer; he was placed on paid leave. The other, a part-timer, was placed on unpaid leave.

Other details were unavailable as the investigation is continuing. Carolina was unavailable for comment.

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posted by: SouthWest on December 28, 2011  1:15pm

I believe reporters should be their with camera crew taping every word.T… If necessary have Jefferson demand that he tape the whole interview if they don’t want the press there. If they have nothing to hide they should welcome the press”“”.

posted by: MBM on December 28, 2011  1:53pm

This is not an ordinary interview.  Considering the seriousness of the issues surrounding the allegations, by which I mean the possibility of political retribution more than the possibility of nearly insignificant grade changing, the public should have a right to know exactly what transpires during the interview. 

Even if a reporter were not allowed to be present during the interview, what harm could there be in recording the interview in its entirety?  This way, if the two sides have share mutual interpretation of the events that transpire in the course of the interview, the tape would not need to be made public.  But if one side maligns the other unfairly with questionable assertions, then evidence would exist that would allow the public to come to its own conclusions.

I’ve come to the defense of the NHPS before, specifically Mrs. Moore, and have complained about what I perceived as biased NHI reporting on the NHPS.  But something isn’t right here, and it isn’t the NHI coverage. 

Given what is at stake - and the previous fiasco regarding Chris Hoffman’s (understandable) reaction to the queries of an NHI reporter -  I’m surprised that the BOE wouldn’t accommodate at least some modicum of transparency.

...Unless, of course, the BOE et Destafano have something to hide.

posted by: Wooster Squared on December 28, 2011  2:02pm

Why is NHPS so reluctant to have the media present during the interview? Isn’t this entire political witch hunt against Kermit Carolina being done in the name of “transparency”? Or is transparency only important to NHPS and the DeStefano administration when it serves their interests?

As usual, DeStefano and his administration seem to think the rules for everyone else don’t apply to them.

Kudos to Mr. Carolina for standing up to this petty bullying.

posted by: MBM on December 28, 2011  2:19pm

With regard to the larger question of the intimidation of principal Carolina (i.e. Mayoral abuse of power—corruption):

It would be terrific if others could step forward and furnish notes like the ones Carolina and Smuts did.  Or if all the other notes have been destroyed, then perhaps some of their recipients could step forward to say whether or not their notes were similar.

According to the Mayor, many of these notes were sent.  I’m having a hard time believing they all feature a cryptic “you were there”. 

I’ve long respected Destefano’s tenure as Mayor here and rewarded him with my vote.  The allegations of vote tampering are trivial, from my perspective.  However, intimidating a fine principal such as Carolina for political ends, if it were true, would be appalling. 

I’m usually inclined to trust the mayor; I lived down the road from the Mayor for more than a decade; my sister was friends with his kids.  Mrs. Joyner’s son was two years ahead of me at Cross. My knee-jerk reaction is to defend Destefano and also NHPS - I was an NHPS student and teacher and my parents used to teach at Hillhouse.


Solid evidence that others received a “you were there” would help regain my trust in the mayor, and my vote.

posted by: westville man on December 28, 2011  2:30pm

The BOE attorney should tread carefully- Carolina did NOT refuse to be interviewed; he wanted it out in the open for good reasons.
His ‘highly unusual” request was made in light of this highly unusual process thus far.
I’m sure that they can set ground rules to protect the privacy concerns of the BOE attorney. The fact that he doesnt conduct his investigations that way is irrelevent unless he can point to some basis for it in law or contract.

posted by: Noteworthy on December 28, 2011  2:31pm

First of all, Attorney Floyd Dugas is ... beholden to DeStefano and Mayo for his livelihood. I wouldn’t trust him with a toothpick. He donated heavily to DeStefano during the election and was the brainchild behind a contemptible mortgage by the school board to a character to whom you wouldn’t loan a quarter.

The allegation is being brought by a subordinate to Kermit Carolina, and she is also a DeStefano donor and friend.

This witch hunt should be done by an outside attorney with no ties to anybody in this pitiful dog fight. So far, it’s been handled so poorly and with such a lack of professionalism and just good manners, I’d want the press to be there too.

When is Dugas going to produce his own autographed copy of “You were there” love note from John.

posted by: Former employee on December 28, 2011  2:36pm

This has been a long-time, institutional practice, widely known by people who have worked for the Board of Education.  I know of at least one former principal who was screwed by DeStefano after failing to get on board with financial and public support of his candidacy.  DeStefano and Mayo both need to go.

posted by: observor1 on December 28, 2011  2:37pm

It is not too amazing that Dugas blocks an interview of Carolina that would be publicly recorded and pure evidence as to the intent of DeStefano(aka school board) and Mayo.The word transparency obviously has conflicting meanings when it comes to their interpretation.
Dugas should welcome the opportunity so later on he isnt dragged into anything biased or retaliatory.It appears that the truth doesn’t fit into their agenda or they wouldn’t hide.

posted by: first observer on December 28, 2011  3:10pm

When the school board’s own lawyer, rather than an impartial outside lawyer, is assigned to conduct this investigation, of course there needs to be some independent way to learn about and verify what is going on.

Wanting to deny press access to an interview with Mr. Carolina comes from the same sort of controlling mentality that wanted (now former) spokesman Hoffman to be an overseer of press coverage within a school.

Threatening Mr. Carolina with charges of insubordination only magnifies the suspicions that a witch hunt is going on—that the powers-that-be are looking for ANYTHING they can find to try to pin on him.  How can they not understand that?  Maybe they do understand it, and simply don’t care.  Maybe the arrogance of the rulers of this city has made them lose all sense of accountability for how the things they do come across.

1.  There needs to be an outside, independent investigator assigned to this probe.

2.  Mr. Carolina is absolutely correct to insist on clear transparency applied to every aspect of it.

Up until the Peggy Moore outrages last spring, I had been a naive, indifferent, uninformed non-observer of NHPS affairs.  Now, as a result of NHPS administrators’ own actions, my blood boils.  There need to be clean sweeps of the rottenness in the city’s executive and school system administrations.

(Once again, great coverage, NHI.)

posted by: Vanessa Poholek Fasanella on December 28, 2011  3:32pm

My big question is this:  Who is paying Atty. Michael Jefferson’s bill?

posted by: StickwithOPENinterview on December 28, 2011  3:56pm

Plain and simply - have the interview, and YES considering the accusations and preliminary information, the interview MUST be public, but void of identifying ANY student’s name. We are all adults here and do not take well to intimidation. If getting down to the root of the problem which is the “alleged” grade tampering then the BOE, and the Mayor should not have any problem with this format.

posted by: Westville man on December 28, 2011  4:01pm

Vanessa. -  THAT’S your big question??
That’s the least of the issues at hand.

posted by: Support Kermit Carolina! on December 28, 2011  4:15pm

Let’s not forget that this entire episode became public when Reggie Mayo decided that the board of education had to be informed of the impending investigation.  Now, where is it written that the board had to be informed of this at a board meeting?  Reggie could have sent an email to all board members. 

There is much about this case that smells very, very bad, including the partiality of Attorney Dugas.  If I were Kermit Carolina, I would want to “open all of the windows,” i.e., the press there to make this entirely public.  An employee who has a hearing before a board of education has the right to a public hearing.  Why should this investigation be any different?

Mayor DeStefano, you have no idea how bad this makes you look.

posted by: robn on December 28, 2011  4:17pm

Principal Carolina’s asking for a public interview is a blatant stall. The grade-change incidents are still only alleged and it would be illegal to have a candid conversation about potentially confidential student matters in public. he knows that and so does his attorney. Principal Carolina has got an attorney who is free to advise and record the interview; so he should do the interview.

posted by: Threefifths on December 28, 2011  4:19pm

posted by: Vanessa Poholek Fasanella on December 28, 2011 2:32pm
My big question is this:  Who is paying Atty. Michael Jefferson’s bill?

We the people who want the truth.Care to donate.

posted by: flaxwell on December 28, 2011  4:33pm

I’ll standoff your grade probe.

posted by: Cookie Monster on December 28, 2011  5:10pm

I can think of more than a few reasons why it would be completely inappropriate to have a public interview, and I have to question Kermit Carolina’s judgement here for demanding it. Wouldn’t the conversation have to touch on student records? As a principal, Kermit Carolina should be familiar with FERPA and the laws that prohibit disclosure of student information. I’m not sure how an interview that involves allegations of grade changing could be legit and useful without reviewing the specific records in question. And Kermit may have an interest in having a public conversation, but what about any other individuals whose names might come up in the conversation? If there are serious allegations of grade tampering, then the school, the public, the students, and the individuals involved have a right to a diligent review and not some kind of media circus public inquest. The outside attorney should follow the same, standard procedures for investigations that are used in every other city and town, period.
I’ve only had positive interactions with Carolina, and this all seems out of character. Why is he letting Michael Jefferson turn this into a political circus? Why go so far out on a limb with the stuff about the Mayor’s letter before having any evidence that it had anything to do with what they were claiming? Why did he even hire an attorney in the first place? From what I can tell, his name had never been publicly mentioned in connection to the allegations until he announced it. It seems to me that the rational thing to do here would have been to say something along the lines of: I am proud of the work of my staff and students, and I am unaware of any instances of grade tampering. That being said, I take these allegations very seriously and academic integrity is important to Hillhouse High School. I will cooperate fully with the investigation and have instructed my staff to do the same.
Kermit Carolina has gone way out on a limb on this one and I can’t figure out why other than it appears he’s being played by an attorney who is thinking more about his own political battles than his client’s best interest.

posted by: Just sayin on December 28, 2011  5:38pm

One thing that seems apparent to me with this entire situation is that the New Haven Independent SHOULD REPLACE the New Haven Register because we NEED reporters who ASK QUESTIONS and don’t take everything someone says at face value!

There are times when you may HAVE to be “pushy”, “forward” maybe even “obnoxious” to get to the truth! The New Haven Register would NEVER do that which is why they have mostly ADS in their newspaper instead of news!

posted by: Shucky Ducky on December 28, 2011  6:52pm

Wow, what a remarkable story of a man who started off as an “In-school Suspension” teacher. Then he was in charge of the History department at HillHouse. The man is now the principal of the same school that he has won several basketball championships for. I am not sure but where did his leadership/principal experience come into play? How did he became a principal in such a short time? Lol. OK lets get down to the real story. Being a former BOE employee, I know Mr.Carolina was picked by Reggie Mayo and Wanda Gibbs, the principal of Riverside Academy and also one of Carolina’s best friends/his mentor. (Who swears she helped make the decision to put him in this position)Lol. Isn’t this the same place were Kerm would send his “failing” basketball players who couldn’t cut it “grade wise” at HillHouse but who came out with top grades by graduation.  Hmmmm, grade alteration, I wonder…  I know for a fact that he sent several of his players to her and she “magically” made sure that they didn’t just graduate but they graduated with the highest grades possible.  My question is did anyone ever really look at their final transcript and compare it to what they had when they left Hilhouse?  Are these some of the students in question???
Oh, and let me not forget, all his basketball players attended HER summer school so course names could have easily been changed to whatever he wanted them to.

Unfortunately, the majority of his players always seem to return home within their first year of college because they can’t make the grade.  Riverside, really, College English 4.  I think not.

Stay tuned, this is just the first of many investigations by Shucky Ducky (Quack, Quack, I will be back)

posted by: Rabbit on December 28, 2011  6:53pm

I am a teacher in New Haven. I used to be proud of that- but now because of ...administrators, especially Carolina and especially Will Clark, in order to further their own careers have put their six figure salaries first- harrassed teachers and administrators endlessly and viciously- only a matter of time before grade tampering - it was inevitable- blame school reform, and ... superintendent - I am not a DeStefano supporter but you can’t pin this one on him- this is pure Mayo- it will be fascinating who he aligns with- Carolina( his friend) or DeStefano ( his overpaid paycheck) - stay tuned ...

posted by: stan on December 28, 2011  9:11pm

I can’t for the life of me understand the timing of this. Principal Carolina seems to be one of the best role models for inner city youth that I have ever met. The Friday before Christmas with notice filed as the Town Clerk’s office is closing on December 22? Didn’t Reggie Mayo hand pick Principal Carolina? Something really smells rotten here. Too many power players involved here and I hope this does not drag out too long.

posted by: GottatakeAstepBack on December 28, 2011  10:03pm

Devils’ advocate: pushing egos aside, what if the grade tampering allegations ARE true. Even if destefano tried to intimidate the allegations must be dealt with.  Now is the time to SEPARATE THE ISSUES people.

posted by: Brian M. on December 28, 2011  11:00pm

If there is any discussion at all of student grades - which there would be in a grade fixing scandal - this can’t be a public discussion.

There’s a federal law that governs this - FERPA. Anyone vaguely familiar with education and law knows this. Kermit Carolina surely knows this.

posted by: Tell the truth! on December 28, 2011  11:49pm

I am an administrator in New Haven I have run in the road-race for many years and I have never received a note from the mayor, this is not the type of note you would write to a runner and it is insulting to think the people would believe this story with that said this entire issue is getting way out of hand and Hillhouse needs Kermit to run his building not be having a war with the mayor!

posted by: observor1 on December 29, 2011  12:25am

whatever the outcome is it is sad that destefano and smuts really thought that the readers,the taxpayers and the rest of the citizens would believe their farce in regards to the note….its amazing how politicians act when caught with their pants down..lets hire a truly independent investigator who is not beholden to to mayor or mayo and see where it leads…i challenge the mayor and mayo to let both sides come up with an investigator is not partial or beholden to anyone for their liveliehood

posted by: William F. Anderson on December 29, 2011  1:23am

The two men who were suspended at Hillhouse are not administrators. They are called “DEANS.” Their role is to monitor the halls, maintain order and discipline, and discipline or suspend students who are disruptive or insubordinate. Deans assumed responsibilities that traditionally belonged exclusively to administrators, but it was determined by someone that administrators should focus on curriculum and teacher evaluation and allow the deans to focus on discipline. If state law says that only certified administrators can suspend students, the deans are exercising authority that should not be delegated to them. Most of the deans hired at Hillhouse are friends of Mr. Carolina who have some connection to athletics. They are all black. They are all males. None has any special training, degrees or certification to do this job.
The head dean at Hillhouse allowed students to have fights in school with his knowledge and supervision. One of the deans objected to this practice and wanted no part in it. This head dean retaliated against this more mature and responsible dean by placing some substance on this person’s coat or jacket. This dispute and damage to personal property led to a fist fight in the school when students were present. Almost all of the students and staff know about the fight. Parents are aware of the fight and news of it have spread through the community.
The board and the police and the press need to thoroughly investigate this practice of allowing students to have fights in Hillhouse.

posted by: Peter Simon on December 29, 2011  1:29am

Michael Jefferson has an opportunity to attend this interview with his client.  Why is that not sufficient? 

I wouldn’t want the press there either, giving Jefferson’s an opportunity for unfounded, selectively twisted comments.

If Carolina has nothing to fear then interview with your representatives without the press and cut the ... about transparency.  Imagine, Jefferson wants transparency, there’s something new.  I hope Jefferson does not lead Carolina down the wrong path, for his own political notoriety.

posted by: dee on December 29, 2011  2:03am

Confidentiality can be maintained by redacting anything that can be seen as identifying, and just referring to “student A,” “student B,” etc. This notion that people can’t speak publicly about confidential matters without disclosing identity is nonsense. Carolina was able to do it quite easily at the BOE meeting on the 23rd.

posted by: here the truth...really on December 29, 2011  9:02am

to tell the truth-
maybe the mayor does not know you, does not care who you are or like kermit and smut you have done nothing impressive to come within his radar…maybe? possibly?

posted by: westville man on December 29, 2011  11:15am

@ Brian M and others- nice to see the concern of everyone over disclosure of student names, etc.

But that’s easily protected- much like the press protects the name of rape victims under the shield law or the names of juveniles involved in crimes. Let’s see what the “interview” is really about.

@ Peter Simon-  it’s apparent you dont like Attorney Jefferson much. I thank God that he’s out there everyday fighting for the rights of oppressed people, especially Black people, in New Haven. ...

posted by: MBM on December 29, 2011  1:17pm

The grade changing allegations are important, but I think it is also important to look examine the events surrounding the allegations, too.

With regard to those events, I myself would have dismissed the “you were there” note as possible but improbable.  But…

Then another note surfaced, and that note was just as odd.  Hmm.

I agree that it’s okay to fire off short odd notes. However, if there were nothing more odd about this than the choice of words, why would Destefano lend credence to the importance of these notes by going out of his way to find evidence to buttress his version of this story?

For a perfectly understandable reason: Destafano also sees that the note seems not just odd, but fishy.  And Destefano wanted to prove his innocence.  Again, understandable. 

But search as he supposedly did, Destefano didn’t find any solid evidence to back up his version of events (that hundreds in New Haven received notes just like Carolina).  All that was proffered was a single note from a right-hand man.  Hmm.

Lets back up for a second.  If a Mayor is accused of using an oddly-worded note to intimidate a principal for political ends and then someone on the Mayor’s behalf defends himself by furnishing another, almost identical note—and also says hundreds like it were sent to people across the city—then it begs the question, where are the other notes? 

Destefano himself, apparently, was trying to answer, or at least preempt, this very question by going to Walgreens to get the pictures that accompanied the notes. That didn’t work.  Plausible, but…

But, out of hundreds of supposed recipients, no one else has stepped forward to say they received similar notes.  However, folks who would have been prime recipients of such notes apparently did not receive them.  Does this not come across as strange?

Yes, grade altering is serious.  Investigate it fully.  Punish Carolina if he’s responsible, and do it behind closed doors for all I care.  But politicizing school leadership is also serious, and we should not lose sight of that. 

Turning schools jobs into political appointments when those jobs should go to the most qualified candidate is a form of corruption.  It rots institutions from the core.

The allegations surrounding Carolina are isolated.  Those surrounding Destefano are endemic.  Both are important, but lets not overlook the forest for the trees. 

I’ve never really questioned Destefano before and honestly hope that he can vindicate himself on this one.  I see no reason he can’t.  But I see many reasons that he should.  And so does Destefano, otherwise he wouldn’t have gone about trying to furnish other road race notes in the first place.

As far fetched as it would be to accuse a Mayor of fabricating a note to cement an earlier lie—and it would be far fetched—I just can’t figure out why, if furnishing other notes was important at the outset, other notes have not been found or why other recipients of the road race notes in question have not come forward. 

Lets end the speculation.

[Editor’s Note: The mayor’s office has produced two additional similar notes from the road race.]

posted by: I Was There on December 29, 2011  1:26pm

@ posted by: Threefifths on December 28, 2011 3:19pm

posted by: Vanessa Poholek Fasanella on December 28, 2011 2:32pm
My big question is this:  Who is paying Atty. Michael Jefferson’s bill?

We the people who want the truth.Care to donate.


No. I don’t care to donate to Kermit Carolina’s attorney. Kermit’s family (including wife and mother) make nearly $300K annually of taxpayer funded BOE dollars. I don’t make nearly that much. And as for the “Gladiator School” method of student conflict resolution that they practice at HH, I am much disturbed about that. Deans having fistfights in the hallways is shocking. Let’s let the media cover that investigation.

posted by: Threefifths on December 29, 2011  2:05pm

posted by: I Was There on December 29, 2011 12:26pm
@ posted by: Threefifths on December 28, 2011 3:19pm

posted by: Vanessa Poholek Fasanella on December 28, 2011 2:32pm
My big question is this:  Who is paying Atty. Michael Jefferson’s bill?

We the people who want the truth.Care to donate.


No. I don’t care to donate to Kermit Carolina’s attorney. Kermit’s family (including wife and mother) make nearly $300K fuannually of taxpayer nded BOE dollars

If you knew this why would you ask the question.Also Kermits family pay taxes to.So what is your point.

P.S.How much does the attorney for the BOE make annually of taxpayer funded BOE dollars.

posted by: Threefifths on December 29, 2011  2:21pm

@Vanessa Poholek Fasanella

In Thursday’s letter Jefferson said Carolina has agreed “to cooperate with your investigation as a means of avoiding being deemed insubordinate.  However, his cooperation will take place under strict protest.”

The basis for the protest: Three members of Dugas’s Milford-based law firm, Berchem, Moses & Devlin—Robert Berchem, Marsha Moses, and Carolyn Dugas, Floyd Dugas’s wife— gave between $500 and $1,000 each to Mayor John DeStefano’s reelection campaign, according to contribution filings, Jefferson noted

The question that you and other taxpayes should as is how come taxpayer funded dollars
are being paid to a Milford-based law firm.

posted by: MBM on December 29, 2011  3:04pm

Editor,

Thanks for alerting me to the fact that there are two other notes similar to the one Carolina received.  And thanks the Mayor’s office for furnishing other copies of the note.  I’ll take the NHI’s word for it and withdraw my suspicion.  I hope others do the same.

I hope this imbroglio gets cleared up.  Hillhouse doesn’t need an embattled principal, whether it is of that principal’s doing or not.

M

posted by: The Other Two Notes? on December 29, 2011  5:08pm

MBM,

Are you referring to the two other notes received by Imma and Bobby Canelli?  Please.  They are long-time allies of the mayor.

posted by: Please ask! on December 29, 2011  6:11pm

Would someone please ask the right questions in that: “Why id Floyd Dugas involved with this matter?” With no disrespect to Stevie Wonder and the late great Ray Charles could invision Dugas’ hands on a ast BOE venture called “The Leeder Hill project” some several years where the money for it was forgiven allegedly by Dugas and the same priciples involved in this matter. There is definitely something wrongs with our checks and balances system here in New Haven.

posted by: Jesuseekr4 on January 4, 2012  6:08pm

I am a current senior at Hillhouse High School and I totally agree with the last comment that was posted, that there should be transparency in regard to the “private interview.” What I find misleading is the fact that the Board of Ed planned to set up a private investigation on an issue that was made public and was hence exposed to the whole entire Greater New Haven. I just feel that if The Board of Ed meeting and intentional chastisement of my principal was made public and exposed to the media, as seen on the news,youtube, and all over the web, then it is completely pointless and backwards to keep things on the “hush hush” now that everything is out in the open and chaotic. The funny thing about this situation is just like my teacher discussed with our class, we live in an ocean full of grade tampering, so why is it excessively exaggerated, now that my principal does a deed that “better helps the kids” as he puts it? Otherlike many principals, Mr. Carolina is always in the community and ready to listen to and support his current and even former students. Yeah, did you know that a former alumni returned to Hillhouse because he knew that Mr. Caolina would help him out? The sad thing about it, is truthfully, grade tampering in New Haven and even outside of New haven is prevalent, inevitably prevalent(not saying it is right) but the homocides that have occurred recently over the course of the break, they [the homocides] affect the functioning of education in Greater New Haven too because they are THE STUDENTS, the ones who are being taught and expected to attend, so teachers, administrators, etc can be paid, and I barely see anyone handling the crime rate appropriately and treating the matter as a serious one!

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