ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - My blood is boiling: that’s what one parent told us on the phone Thursday when we told her about the elaborate fraud scheme six educators are accused of.
The indictment says close to 1,000 full time private schools students were listed as full time virtual students for Athens City and Limestone County schools. Over the last two days we’ve talked to more than a dozen parents of these children.
And I was the one to break the news of the investigation to nearly all of them. And WAFF 48 was the one to break the news of the investigation to nearly all of them.
Six educators including the former superintendents for Athens City and Limestone county schools are all accused of being involved in bribing private schools with money, laptops and better internet.
In exchange? The indictment says headmasters would turn over the names and addresses of their students so they could enroll them in virtual school programs. Higher enrollment translated into a rush of money to both districts. And U.S. Attorneys say that money went into those administrators pockets.
“Earlier I was so mad I was ready to cry. I was so mad I was ready to cry of the thought of their information being sold,” k
Kimberly Vick has two children who used to go to Camden Christian Academy.
That private school was named in the indictment, but it does not allege students’ information from that school was released.
“I feel relieved now knowing that is possibly did not happen to ours but, I feel for other parents and students as well,” she explained.
But parents of students at Jackson Academy, Monroe Academy, Pickens Academy and the Lakeside School were not so lucky.
Check out the statement we received from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
“If you are a parent of a student who was enrolled at one of the private schools identified in the indictment during either the 2016-2017 or 2017-2018 school year, then it is likely that your child’s information was used in the alleged scheme. If you are concerned, then you could contact your child’s school to ensure that the proper records are currently on file.”
Vick says she hopes these parents ask for answers.
“I would want to find out how to fix it now, as opposed to when it’s time for them to go to school, something come up and hold them back. Think about the ones that are about to graduate.”