Mainland student who took placebo test speaks out

Jen Reilly and her daughter, Molly, returned from a mission trip to learn terrible news.

“I logged into my college board, and it said ‘you have no scores available,’ so that’s when I really knew that I didn’t get a real test,” said Molly, a Mainland High School student.

Molly said she was given an unofficial advanced placement test and would not be receiving college credit for the year-long course.

“How could this happen to me? I did everything right,” she said.

In a letter to the Florida Inspector General, Volusia County Schools report only 78 students out of 414 enrolled in the advanced course were given the real test. The rest took a fake exam. But all the students thought they were taking a real test that counted for real college credit.

Parents and students are now asking how this happened. The principal at Mainland, Dr. Cheryl Salerno, told investigators she wanted the students to be exposed to the challenging course and exam but the school couldn't afford to pay for everyone to take the test. So, she decided some would take the real test and the rest would take last year's test.

The principal wents on to explain that her intention was never to "dupe anyone, nor do I believe anyone has been victimized."

Molly disagrees.

“I worked hard every single day and then i was given a fake test, so it was all for nothing, literally it was all for nothing,” she said.

“I think it was a huge error in judgment,” said Jen. “How could you do this to my daughter?”

Molly’s Mother says the school wasted her daughter’s time.

“I don’t see how this could have been beneficial for anyone. I don’t see who won out of this,” said Jen.

Mother and daughter are now feeling cheated.

“I’m a cheerleader, and I definitely feel like I have a lot less school spirit now, knowing this and how I was lied to and how I was cheated,” said Molly.

“I have lost all faith in Mainland’s current administration, I don’t see how the school board, the district, college board, anybody could be content with what has happened,” said Jen.

The district plans to release the findings of its investigation Monday, July 15, as well as, any actions it plans to take.