King and Queen County Schools Superintendent Carol Carter released a statement Friday evening stating three King and Queen County High School students were awarded diplomas at the end of the 2014-15 school year without having met the graduation requirements for those diplomas.
Here is her full statement:
“The King and Queen County School Board has received an internal investigation report. This report confirmed three King and Queen County High School students were awarded diplomas at the end of the 2014-15 school year without having met the graduation requirements for those diplomas. The Virginia Department of Education has notified the King and Queen County School Board that these diplomas will be revoked. The diplomas will be re-issued if and when the students provide proof that they have completed the required coursework. The School Board is required to provide revised graduation rate statistics to the Department of Education, and correct all records as required by law.
"The School Board is committed to taking all necessary action to correct the matter and to give the students involved the opportunity to complete their graduation requirements and receive their diplomas. The mission of King and Queen County Schools is to provide a quality individualized education.”
Carter's release comes less than a day after King & Queen Central High School principal Antione Monroe resigned. He was placed on administrative leave on Friday, April 29.
Central High School was also closed Friday, although it was expected to reopen Monday.
Friday morning, Carter wrote in a prepared statement that "The King and Queen School Board has accepted the resignation of Antione Monroe as Principal of King and Queen County High School. Mr. Monroe is leaving to pursue other professional opportunities. He appreciates the opportunities he has had in King and Queen County, and his relationships with the students. King and Queen County School Board wishes him the best in his future endeavors. As in all personnel matters, we are not permitted to discuss the particulars as a matter of state law."
King & Queen Sheriff John Charboneau also confirmed Friday that his office was not investigating Monroe's actions.
More than 140 students stood outside of King & Queen Central High School in protest Monday and Tuesday after the school's principal was put on administrative leave.
Central High School Principal Antione Monroe was escorted out of the school Friday morning by a King & Queen sheriff’s deputy, Superintendent Carol Carter said.
Monroe “is simply on paid leave while certain matters, that we cannot discuss at this time for legal reasons, are investigated,” said Carter on a voicemail message left for parents.
“We wanted to get together as a student body and let the superintendent know that you can't make a decision, like taking away a great principal like Mr. Monroe, without having some sort of say-so and feedback from us,” high school senior Max Paulette Jr. said.
Around 2:30 p.m. Monday, about 25 students and parents remained outside near the school. The group had protested throughout the day.
Some students had protested for a part of the day and signed back into school for dismissal at 3:10 p.m., so they could take the bus home, parent Beth Paulette said.
“It’s unfortunate that students are choosing to protest, but we need time to finish our investigation,” Carter said Tuesday morning.
Carter declined to comment if the investigation is criminal, or if any charges have been placed.
A message left with Sheriff John Charboneau was not immediately returned Tuesday morning.
Some King & Queen deputies were present on and around the school grounds throughout the day Monday, but only one police car was parked at the school Monday afternoon.
Paulette advocated for Monroe, saying he is the first “steady, accountable and great principal,” the school has had since he's been at Central High School.
Senior Terry Bingham added that Monroe has made an effort to get to know each student in his two years at the school.
Last year, all four King & Queen schools became fully accredited for the first time in seven years.
Parents planned to hold a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Second Mount Olive Baptist Church in Shacklefords, Davis said.
A group of parents are also planning to meet with the superintendent on Wednesday morning to discuss their concerns.
Fearing can be reached by phone at 757-298-5838.