A high school with a sterling reputation may have been cheating, and its principal is now suspended.
Fort Lee High School students had their grades changed and at times deleted to help them get into elite colleges, according to the school superintendent.
"It's fraud," said a former Fort Lee High School student.
Principal Jay Berman was suspended with pay for the duration of the investigation.
District Superintendent Raymond Bandlow revealed that an unknown number of guidance counselors or administrators purposely doctored some students' grades to help them get into select colleges and universities.
"I would never expect anything like this,” junior Muhammed Kurt said.
The information came to light when a new director of guidance noticed discrepancies. The grades on the some students' transcripts didn't match the grades listed on the letters that went out to colleges.
Superintendent Bandlow said he did not believe students or parents had any knowledge of the misconduct that may have gone on for six years. The superintendent will be sending out letters to colleges and universities to apologize for what happened and explaining why it will never happen again.
"How did it happen?" one Fort Lee parent asked.
The incident leaves some students wondering whether they were cheated out of an opportunity at an elite school and others wondering if they got there under questionable conditions.
"That's very, very sad," Fort Lee parent Cathy Farber said.
The controversy is expected to be discussed at a Board of Education meeting Wednesday night at 8 p.m.