NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — Five New Haven school administrators face suspensions after an investigation found they gave preferential treatment to student athletes at Hillhouse High School.
School system spokeswoman Abbe Smith says the probe followed a whistleblower complaint.
It found two athletes were given twice as many credits as other students for summer school classes.
Hillhouse football coach Thomas Dyer, a part-time administrator, and an assistant principal have been suspended without pay for two days along with Riverside Academy Principal Wanda Gibb, who oversaw the summer school program.
According to the Superintendent's office, Hillhouse Principal Kermit Carolina left school early and did not return cell phone messages, so his punishment is unknown. A Board of Education investigation concluded that student athletes were given preferential treatment, including one student who missed more than 45 days and was still allowed to move on from a junior to a senior.
"It was something that happened in the old regime and they weren't going to get reprimanded for it, then it should be a slap on the wrist because they probably learned those practices from the past," said Richard Ware, of New Haven.
"I just think they could have worked it out differently because that stuff has been going on for years," said Vaughn Willis, of New Haven, "and when something bad happens everybody is going to get the blame for it and Kerm has done a lot for Hillhouse."
At Hillhouse High School, the Pop Warner Steelers were practicing Tuesday night, and all you had to do was mention the name Kermit Carolina and it brought a smile to people's faces. As a matter of fact, people there couldn't imagine him doing anything to hurt a student.
"If he did leave it would be a travesty for the young kids, because he has helped so many," Ware said. "And he is from the hood, forgive me for saying it, but he is from the hood and he knows what these kids need."
"He was out here all last week with us," said Eugene Morton, of New Haven. "He lets us use the field house during inclement weather. We have called him and he always shows up."
News 8 did reach out to Carolina and his attorney, but have not heard back.
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