Proposed bill would make grade tampering a crime

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A new proposed bill could soon make it criminal to change school transcripts.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson announced a zero-tolerance policy for individuals involved in grade tampering after the recent investigation at Trezevant High School.

Friday morning, state lawmakers announced that they're hoping to take it a step further by making unauthorized grade changes a criminal offense.

"Mandate that individuals will receive up to 11 months and 29 days in jail as a class A misdemeanor," Tennessee State Rep. Antonio Parkinson said.

Parkinson said he is presenting that bill to the general assembly in January.

Hopson already said anyone that he sees involved with grade tampering will be terminated.

Shelby County Schools board member Stephanie Love said it's a long overdue move by the state, especially with the possibility of more schools in the district with grade-tampering cases.

She's hoping the state can go even further with a state-wide investigation.

"To ensure that all of our children who are graduating whether, in Memphis, Knoxville, Nashville, have received the correct grade," Love said.

Parkinson and Love said the law would couple with policies for each district.

The policies would not only punish unauthorized grade changers, but also protect whistle blowers who bring the issue to light.

If passed, the bill will take effect July 1, 2018.

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