- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2001

A black administrator at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Fairfax, Va., has been placed on administrative leave after charges that she changed the grades of several minority students, according to sources familiar with the case.

Fairfax County public school officials declined to divulge the identity of the administrator. But several sources identified her as Jean Jones, who has been Lake Braddock's guidance director for the past seven years.

Sources familiar with the case said Miss Jones changed the grades of minority students to help get them into college. They said she was placed on leave on Feb. 8, although school officials refused to confirm the date.

Miss Jones is a minority parents' liaison at the school as well as the administrative representative to the Minority Parents for Excellence in Education.

She could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Sources described Miss Jones as a "champion" for minorities and a "really nice" person.

"She appears to be a very religious, moralistic person," said one source, adding that he was disappointed to hear the news.

"It is hypocritical that this was going on all the time … we don't know how long it was happening," he said.

The school system yesterday issued a statement saying that there were "several allegations" against the administrator, who "changed a number of student grades in student permanent records."

An investigation is being conducted, and the administrator will remain on leave until it is completed, it said. If the charges are confirmed, the administrator will be dismissed, the statement said.

A schools spokesman said the school system could not comment on the issue any further or identify the administrator because it is a "confidential personnel matter."

However, he added, it views matters "that undermine the integrity of instruction very seriously."

Lake Braddock PTA president Whitney Henry said she was "glad the school has demonstrated they will not tolerate this kind of behavior," adding that the news was "extremely disappointing to everybody."

"It would be my expectation that administrators would not do something like that," she said.

She added that she "fully supported" the school, and that "one person does not impact the whole school."

School Board members yesterday refused to comment on the matter because it is a personnel issue pending investigation.

Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke is one of the largest schools in the Fairfax County public school system, with an enrollment of 3,900 students in grades seven through 12 for this academic year.

Yesterday, representatives of teachers in the county said they were surprised to hear about the incident.

Rick Nelson, president of the Fairfax Federation of Teachers, said he was not familiar with details of the case, but added that teachers often came under pressure from administrators to give students higher grades.

"There have been many cases in the past where administrators have altered grades given by teachers. We have heard many reports of that," he said.

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