Former teacher claims she was fired for not giving students grades they didn’t earn

·2 min read

A former teacher in Henry County says she was fired because she complained administrators tried to force her to give students grades they didn’t earn.

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Sheri Mimbs said school administrators instructed her to change grades to reflect its policy of not giving students anything less than a 60.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones spoke to the teacher who has filed a whistleblower lawsuit, exclusively for Channel 2 Action News at 5:00.

The lawsuit has been working its way through the courts the last several years.

The former teacher at Cotton Indian Elementary School said she was shocked in 2017 when an administrator told her to change grades.

“It blew my mind. This was not something I signed up for. I’m not changing grades,” Mimbs told Jones. “It’s totally illegal. I cannot do that,” she said.

Mimbs said she was fired after speaking out about the practice. “I reported it to the people I was supposed to report this to,” she said.” And I am being fired for doing the right thing?”

According to Mimbs, she received a note from Assistant Principal Kayla Holmes saying students should not have less than a 60 grade.

The note instructed her to let Holmes know when Mimbs changed the scores so Holmes could print them. “I was taken back. I was shocked,” Mimbs said.

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The former teacher said she continued giving students only the grades they earned. “If you give grades, how would we know? How do we know when kids are failing or when they’re doing well?” she said.

Mimbs said she recorded a conversation she had with principal Lisa Travis where she explains why the grade changing is necessary. On the recording, a woman says: “We want to be able to let a child at least make some progress. It’s not about giving them a 60 just to give them a 60.”

A Henry County Schools spokesperson said he could not comment on pending litigation.

Mimbs’ attorney, Barton Black, said what the school asked Mimbs to do is illegal. “The Georgia law prohibits an administrator from coercing a teacher to give a grade that the student did not earn,” Black said. “And that’s what happened here.”

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Mimbs said she should not have lost her job for doing the right thing. “Cheating, changing grades, is not the answer,” she said.

Mimbs is asking a jury for compensatory damages. She said she has been unable to get another job teaching after blowing the whistle. She said she really wants to get back in the classroom because she loves teaching and helping students.

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