Prairiland ISD teachers resign after cheating allegations surface

PATTONVILLE, TX -- Two Prairiland teachers have resigned after allegations surfaced about cheating on end of the year exams.

On Friday school officials say Prairiland High School's head basketball coach and history teacher Jeremy Thomas, as well as assistant football coach and history teacher Matt Perkins resigned following allegations of cheating on a STAAR test.

The incident is now being investigated by the Texas Education Agency.

"A student made a comment about some of the questions that were on it (STAAR test), that were reviewed by a teacher the day before," said Prairiland ISD Superintendent Jeff Ballard. "And it was a spot on match of what was on the test."

Monday the Prairiland Board of Trustees accepted the resignations of Thomas and Perkins.

The alleged violations were committed during the U.S. History STAAR end-of-course exam. Both Perkins and Thomas teach U.S. History for the high school.

Superintendent Jeff Ballard says the students were not involved and did nothing wrong.

"Our students didn't even know what was going," said Ballard. "It was just a coincidence that this one particular student realized that everything on that review the day before was on the test."

The Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Educator Certification are leading the review of the teachers.

"We are reviewing the information that they sent to us about those two teachers and the case that involved and we are just determining what happened," T.E.A. Spokesperson Lauren Callahan.

Both Thomas Perkins were first year teachers at Prairiland and Ballard says the two conspired together.

"This is just the case of two individual teachers, working together to get as much information off of the test and give to the students for a review," said Ballard.

The T.E.A. says the tests have been invalidated, meaning the students will have to retake the test before they graduate.
If found guilty both teachers could face decertification.


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