by: Rachel Stockman Updated:ATLANTA —
An Atlanta Public Schools investigation into the Grady High School Football team found about a quarter of the team’s players used falsified addresses to play on the team.
“We expect our parents to set examples of integrity for their children. We do not expect elaborate falsified documents, or for them to make sworn affidavits that are patently incorrect,” said Atlanta Public School Superintendent Erroll Davis.
The investigation was launched after the district received an anonymous complaint alleging address fraud and recruitment of football players at Grady High School. The investigation found that the address fraud did occur with 14 players, but the recruiting violations were unsubstantiated to date.
“We had one player on the team that never set foot in a classroom (at Grady),” Davis said.
The report also found several students who listed the address of an assistant coach and an APS employee as their address.
“The thing that just stunned me is that we learned that there is a cottage industry of falsified documents,” Davis said.
The report also found that Head Coach Ronnie Millen, “hindered the investigation by speaking with parents and providing advance notice of pending actions.”
“I think most students are very aware of issue of out of district students here. Not just on the football team,” said Olivia Volkert, a student.
Davis said personnel action and consequences will be coming in two weeks. He also said parents could face civil or criminal consequences.
“The way this has been handled has been an absolute witch hunt,” said a parent, who didn’t want to be identified for fear of prosecution, because her son was among the players asked to withdraw.
Some of the parents who allegedly falsified addresses are being asked to reimburse the tuition.
Superintendent Errol Davis said he would be putting new procedures in place to ensure this does not happen again, even citing the possibility of hiring outside experts in documentation fraud.