Whistle-blowing Westover teacher’s contract in jeopardy

Kevin Fretwell provided proof of 122 grade changes in one teacher’s classes at Westover High School

Kevin Fretwell

Kevin Fretwell

ALBANY — Dougherty County School Interim School Supt. Butch Mosely has recommended that the contract of Westover coach and teacher Kevin Fretwell be terminated. Sources, however, say the termination letter has not been delivered and negotiations are under way with Fretwell’s attorney, Kelly Boswell, to allow him to change schools and resign at the end of the school year.

Fretwell was the last of four Westover High School administrators and teachers to be disciplined as the result of the discovery of 122 student grade changes at the school last month. Westover Principal William Chunn was docked five days pay, Assistant Principal Brian Collier was issued a letter of reprimand and teacher Kevin Martin was suspended five days without pay.

Late last month, an internal investigation by Mosely’s office revealed more than 120 first nine-weeks grade changes in six ninth-grade world history classes taught by one teacher. The Albany Herald obtained copies of student summary grade reports, all of which were from six periods taught by Martin, a first-year teacher

The reports showed that at least 85 percent of the students’ grades had been changed from a failing mark — one as low as zero — to 70. None of the 122 students had a final first nine-weeks grade lower than 70 recorded, although the documents revealed many students had actually failed the first grading term.

Chunn, in his position as principal, was authorized to make the grade changes, but violated state code by failing to include individual grade change orders in the students’ files, which is a violation of state code.

Fretwell was the whistle-blower who delivered copies of the student records to The Herald.

Mosely said last week that Fretwell had violated federal FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and had put the system at legal risk.

Should efforts to reach a settlement fail, Fretwell’s termination would have to be approved by the Dougherty School Board.