RPS counselors claim being unfairly blamed for transcript scandal led to firing

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two counselors fired from George Wythe High School say they have been unfairly blamed in the transcript scandal. Richmond administrators say errors in scheduling and assigning credits have inflated Richmond’s graduation rates and will force delays in graduations this year. 

8News spoke with two counselors who said the transcript issues stem from above their pay grade at the central office. They are upset because they say they are taking the heat for an issue. 

“This had been happening for a long while,” said Rita Richardson, George Wythe High School’s lead counselor.  

Richardson says she and the rest of her counseling staff are taking the blame for district-wide transcript issues. 

READ: RPS uncovers years of inflated graduation rates

“Cutting off the heads and getting rid of everyone because I have no idea why that’s not the solution,” Lisa Coles, another counselor at the school who was let go on Thursday, told 8News. 

Coles and Richardson say they were made aware of the errors last October. Since then, the counselors have attended several meetings to try and fix the problem. 

“We had to go through and basically check for different things on the transcript. A lot of the courses we had offered in the past as a division were not approved by the state or had incorrect state codes,” Richardson said. 

Both counselors said they feel targeted for an issue they claim they aren’t responsible for. 

“It was surprising to me that George Wythe High School counseling staff as group of people who are being held accountable singularly for all these woes and issues that have played the district for the last two, three, four years,” Coles told 8News. 

Coles and Richardson told 8News Superintendent Jason Kamras will recommend their termination to the school board on June 17. 

Richmond Public Schools said they can’t comment because this is a personnel matter. 

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